THIS PAPER has three major purposes: (1) to present the need for an experimental animal model of "depression," ie, why the creation of such a model would be useful; (2) to review pertinent evidence from a variety of fields which points to the feasibility of such a model; and (3) to discuss possible research strategies which could be used to create an experimental animal model of depression.
Depression in man is a poorly defined entity. As Lehmann1 points out, the term may refer to a symptom, a syndrome, or a nosological entity. We are interested in the depressive syndrome which is often defined as consisting of both primary and secondary symptoms. The primary symptoms in man consist of a despairing emotional state and the depressive mood. The secondary symptoms vary and are less regularly found. They may include such things as social withdrawal, psychomotor retardation, an
McKinney WT, Bunney WE. Animal Model of DepressionI. Review of Evidence: Implications for Research. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(2):240-248. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740200112015