Forced swim test

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The text on this page is taken from an informal compilation of opinions of contributors to the online VOLE List. As such, they are not peer reviewed and may contain differences of opinion. Those wishing to contact the list may contact Adrian Smith.

A 2012 paper on using forced swim tests to measure the effects of anti-depressants suggests variable times for the duration of the tests, although 15 minutes seems common (Slattery & Cryan: Using the rat forced swim test to assess anti-depressant like activity in rodents). Ten years on, is the model still considered reliable, is there an industry standard for duration that is commonly used (or is this dependent on other factors), and are there any recent references for refinements and best practice for conducting FSTs?

According to Annex VIII of EU Directive 2010/63, Section III 3(m), 'forced swim or exercise tests with exhaustion as the end-point' are to be classified as severe procedures.

Further references