UNIT 8.10C Rodent Models of Depression: Learned Helplessness Induced in Mice

  1. Hymie Anisman1,
  2. Zul Merali2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0810cs14

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Anisman, H. and Merali, Z. 2001. Rodent Models of Depression: Learned Helplessness Induced in Mice. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 14:8.10C:8.10C.1–8.10C.15.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: FEB 2001


Uncontrollable stressors induce a variety of behavioral disturbances that are in many ways reminiscent of the symptoms that characterize clinical depression. These deficits are evident across a range of species, including mice. Given the increasing focus on genetic techniques involving mice to identify the mechanisms subserving these behavioral disturbances (e.g., recombinant, knockout, and transgenic strains), it is of particular interest to provide a detailed description of the method to induce behavioral deficits in response to uncontrollable stressors. This unit describes the procedure used to assess the effects of controllable and uncontrollable shock on subsequent shock escape performance in mice using an escape-delay procedure.