Depressive behavior and stress ulcer in Wistar Kyoto rats

W. P. Paré*, E. Redei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, as compared to several other rat strains, are hypoactive in the open field test and in the defensive burying test. WKY rats readily acquire a learned helplessness task as well as a passive avoidance tasks. WKY rats also reveal a greater susceptibility to restraint-induced stress ulcer. The behavioral tests suggest the presence of depressive behavior in WKY rats. When exposed to the Porsolt forced-swim test of 'behavioral despair', WKY rats are judged as exhibiting more depressive behavior. Desipramine not only reduced immobility in the forced-swim test, but also diminished the severity of restraint-induced stress ulcer. These data suggested a heightened activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Basal plasma ACTH levels did not differ between WKY rats and Wistar rats, but serial plasma ACTH response to restraint stress was significantly greater for WKY rats. These data suggest that depressive behavior is a characteristics of WKY rats and this strain is a valuable model for studying depression which may be induced by an exaggerated stress response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physiology - Paris
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • ACTH
  • Wistar Kyoto rat
  • depression
  • stress
  • ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive behavior and stress ulcer in Wistar Kyoto rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this