Michael Hennessy (Advisor), Michal Kraszpulski (Committee Member), Patricia Schiml (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Separation and Its Effect on the Forced Swim Test In the Guinea Pig Early-life stress such as parental neglect, absence, or abandonment, has been hypothesized to increase the susceptibility for developing depression later in life via sensitization of stress-responsive physiological systems (e.g., pro-inflammatory cytokines, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). Guinea pigs offer a potential model, but study has been limited to behavioral observations obtained during maternal separation tests. This thesis examined the generalization of this response by asking whether it would cross-sensitize to behavior in another depressive-related paradigm, the forced swim test. In three experiments, pups underwent three forced swim trials, in shallower or deeper water, 24 h or 9 days after 3-h separation period(s). Immobility duration and latency served as the primary dependent measures. I observed cross sensitization of depressive-like behavior (longer duration of immobility) when pups were tested in the deeper water forced swim test 24 h following maternal separation. Results further confirm use of the guinea pig separation model and suggest sensitization of an underlying depressive-like state rather than particular depressive-like behaviors.
Department or Program
Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology
Year Degree Awarded
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Creative Commons License
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