Dynamic longitudinal behavior in animals exposed to chronic social defeat stress

PLoS One. 2020 Jul 23;15(7):e0235268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235268. eCollection 2020.


Chronic social defeat (CSD) can lead to impairments in social interaction and other behaviors that are supposed to model features of major depressive disorder (MDD). Not all animals subjected to CSD, however, develop these impairments, and maintained social interaction in some animals is widely used as a model for resilience to stress-induced mental dysfunctions. So far, animals have mainly been studied shortly (24 hours and 7 days) after CSD exposure and longitudinal development of behavioral phenotypes in individual animals has been mostly neglected. We have analyzed social interaction and novel object recognition behavior of stressed mice at different time points after CSD and have found very dynamic courses of behavior of individual animals. Instead of the two groups, resilient or susceptible, that are found at early time points our data suggest four groups with (i, ii) animals behaving resilient or susceptible at early and late time points, respectively (iii) animals that start susceptible and recover with time or (iv) animals that are resilient at early time points but develop vulnerability later on.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology
  • Animals
  • Behavior Observation Techniques
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Time Factors

Grants and funding

The work was funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), CRC 1193. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.