Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2014 Jun;18(3):263-268. 10.4196/kjpp.2014.18.3.263.

Chronic Non-Social Stress Affects Depressive Behaviors But Not Anxiety in Mice

  • 1Department of Physiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea. kmhwany@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Neuroscience Research Institute, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul 110-799, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea.
  • 4Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam 463-707, Korea.


The etiology of most psychiatric disorders is still incompletely understood. However, growing evidence suggests that stress is a potent environmental risk factor for depression and anxiety. In rodents, various stress paradigms have been developed, but psychosocial stress paradigms have received more attention than non-social stress paradigms because psychosocial stress is more prevalent in humans. Interestingly, some recent studies suggest that chronic psychosocial stress and social isolation affects mainly anxiety-related behaviors in mice. However, it is unclear whether chronic non-social stress induces both depression- and anxiety-related phenotypes or induces one specific phenotype in mice. In the present study, we examined the behavioral consequences of three chronic non-social stress paradigms: chronic predictable (restraint) stress (CPS), chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), and repeated corticosterone-HBC complex injection (RCI). Each of the three paradigms induced mild to severe depression/despair-like behaviors in mice and resulted in increased immobility in a tail suspension test. However, anxiety-related phenotypes, thigmotaxis and explorative behaviors, were not changed by the three paradigms. These results suggest that depression- and anxiety-related phenotypes can be dissociated in mouse stress models and that social and non-social stressors might affect brain circuits and behaviors differently.


Anxiety; Chronic non-social stress; Depression; Open field test; Tail suspension test
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