Olfactory discrimination and memory deficits in the Flinders Sensitive Line rodent model of depression

Behav Processes. 2017 Oct;143:25-29. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2017.08.006. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a heterogeneous psychiatric disorder with broad symptomatic manifestations. The current study examined, for the first time, olfactory memory and discrimination in the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rodent model of depression. Male FSL rats and controls were trained on an Olfactory Discrimination (OD) and a Social Interaction (SI) test. On the OD test, the FSL and controls performed similarly at the shortest inter-trial interval (5min), however, with extended delay of 30min, the FSLs had a recall and odour discrimination deficit. At the longest delay (60min) both groups performed poorly. The FSL rats i.) had a deficit in olfactory discrimination suggesting impairment in olfactory memory and recall; ii.) were less likely to socialize with unfamiliar rats. The data suggests that FSL animals have an impaired olfactory information processing capacity.

Keywords: Behavioural phenotype; Flinders sensitive line; Olfaction; Rodent model of depression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / complications
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Recall
  • Olfactory Perception*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors