Reliability assessment of an automated forced swim test device using two mouse strains

J Neurosci Methods. 2005 Nov 30;149(1):26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2005.04.010. Epub 2005 Jun 20.


The Porsolt forced swim test (FST) is one of the most widely used behavioral tests in the evaluation of the antidepressant effects of drugs. It is based on the fact that these drugs reduce the depression-related behaviors of learned helplessness. The model has been modified for use in mice. In contrast to rats, mice are exposed to forced swimming only once and their immobility behavior is measured and considered a "depression-like" phenotype. Like many other behavioral tests, FST can be affected by observer-related artifacts. In recent years, automated testing systems have been developed to decrease artifacts that may greatly influence the interpretation of results. In this work, we used two strains of mice, i.e., C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6J, which differ in their FST immobility times. We employed a new commercially available automated FST device and a blinded observer-based FST, and we examined their ability to measure behavioral differences between these two mouse strains. Our results suggest that the tested automated FST system generates reliable data comparable to results obtained by trained observers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Species Specificity
  • Swimming / physiology*