Depression > Tail Suspension Test


In the test, a rodent (usually a mouse) is suspended by the tail from a lever and the struggling movements are recorded.  The total duration of the test (usually 5-6 min) can be divided into periods of agitation and immobility.


Antidepressant drugs decrease the duration of immobility, as do some stimulant drugs and the anticholinergic agent, atropine.  If coupled with measurements of locomotor activity in different conditions (see above), the test can separate the locomotor stimulant doses from antidepressant doses.  The main advantages of this procedure are that it is simple and objective and the concordance of the results can be validated with the "behavioral despair" test of Porsolt.  The test is sensitive to a wide range of drug doses.