Reduction of Submissive Behavior Model for antidepressant drug activity testing: Study using a video-tracking system

Albert Pinhasov, Jeffrey Crooke, Daniel Rosenthal, Douglas Brenneman, Ewa Malatynska

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34 Scopus citations


Submissive animals can be defined in a food competition test as spending significantly less time on the feeder than their dominant partners. Using observer-based scoring in the Reduction of Submissive Behavior Model, submissive behavior in rats and mice has been previously shown to be sensitive and selective to antidepressant treatment. In this paper, we report the use of automated scoring by a multiple-subject video-tracking system to record similar effects of antidepressants on rat submissive behavior. Automated scoring enabled the observation of four pairs of rats during each 5-min experimental session (one set) and immediate switching to the observation of the next four pairs of animals. Studies were conducted to confirm our previous results with imipramine and fluoxetine that were obtained with manual scoring, and to extend those results to studies with other drugs, including the antidepressant maprotiline and the δ-opioid antagonist naltrindole, which is not known to have antidepressant activity. As in previous studies, treatment of the submissive animal for 5 weeks with imipramine (20 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) significantly reduced submissive behavior, with a delayed onset of antidepressant effect that was dependent on drug dose. Maprotiline (10 and 20 mg/kg), like imipramine or fluoxetine and in contrast to naltrindole, strongly reduced rat submissive behavior, further demonstrating the selectivity of this test for antidepressant activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressant drugs
  • Automated scoring
  • Rat
  • Submissive behavior


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