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Efect of chronic restraint stress on rats performance in a spatial learning task

Grant number: 19/03384-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:Andréia Schmidt
Grantee:Vítor Pansarim
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Exposure to chronic stressors has been used as animal model for the study of depression, once, since it has been shown to cause anhedonia. In addition, chronic stress has been shown to be effective in altering the performance of rats in acquisition and retention tasks. Most studies using chronic stress lasting for 21 days or more have observed an impairment on animal performance. However, some research that exposed rats to reduced periods of chronic stress found na improvement on performance. Although most research has used males, there are studies demonstrating that chronic stress can have distinct effects on the performance of males and females. The presente study aims to investigate the effect of duration of chronic restraint stress (CRS) on the performance of male and female rats in a spatial learning task. It will be used 48 Sprague-Dawley rats, (24 males and 24 females), composing six groups of eight subjects: male long stress group and female long stress group (22 days exposure to CRS), male short stress group and female short stress group (11 days exposure to CRS) and male control group and female control group (no exposure to CRS). During the CRS exposure period, all animals will proceed on sucrose solution preference tests. After the end of the CRS period, all subjects will proceed on two spatial learning sessions in the Morris Water Maze (MWM). The escape latency will be used as an learning measure in yhe task and will be compared between the six groups of the experiment.