Social model of depression in mice of C57BL/6J strain

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1991 Feb;38(2):315-20. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(91)90284-9.


Long experience of defeat in daily social intermale confrontations and permanent living with aggressive males under sensory contact conditions [Kudryavtseva (8)] has been shown to produce changes in the patterns of submissive behavior of male mice of C57BL/6J strain. The submissive males after 20 defeats demonstrated passive defense postures instead of active defense and withdrawal which they had displayed in first encounters. Moreover, new immobile postures appeared, which were very rare in the first confrontations. Submissive animals displayed a decrease of ambulation in the open-field test and increase the immobility time in the Porsolt's test. Chronic treatment with imipramine prevented the increase of "depressiveness" estimated by means of the Porsolt's test. There was a loss of weight and some disturbances in gastrointestinal functions. The data are discussed in terms of the development of depression in submissive male C57BL/6J mice as a result of chronic unavoidable social stress.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Animals
  • Depression / pathology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Imipramine / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Dominance


  • Imipramine