J Korean Soc Biol Psychiatry.  1999 Nov;6(2):161-169.

Experimental Models of Depression

Abstract

There are a number of approaches in developing experimental models for depression. but there is no such thing as a best model for depressive syndrome. Animal models are subject to the obvious limitations inherent in the assumption that human psychopathology can be represented accurately in lower animals. Recently, the concern increasingly is to develop a variety of experimental paradigms in animal to study selected aspects of human psychopathology, and animal models should be understood as basically experimental preparations that are developed to carry out these objects. Therefore, a battery of a variety of animal models should be applied to permit detailed pathophysiological studies and to develop new antidepressant treatments. Animal models of depression basically consider behavioral isomorphism with the human depression a plus, but not a requirement, and the model behavior should be defined operationally in order to be reproduced reliably by other researchers and be responsive to those agents possessing demonstrated clinical efficacy in human depression. In conclusion, animal models of depression have played a significant role in elucidating pathophysiology of depression and developing current treatments for depression, but there is no single comprehensive model for depression until now. Each of the proposed animal model has its advantages and limitations. In other words, certain paradigms are suitable for studying certain phenomena, whereas others are more suitable for studying other aspects. The best model for depression depends upon what the question is.

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