Background and Aim: Chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) is a protocol widely used to create an animal model of depression with food deprivation, water deprivation, and physical-dominant stressors as routine procedures. However, human depression mainly involves psychological stressors and does not always involve a lack of food and water; thus, CUMS procedures should be modified accordingly. Therefore, this study aimed to create an animal model of depression, mainly focusing on a psychologically dominant stressor without food and water deprivation. Materials and Methods: The CUMS and control groups, respectively, received CUMS modification (psychologically dominant stressors without food and water deprivation) for 21 days. A 24-h sucrose preference test (SPT) was used to assess the successful creation of an animal model of depression. Daily food intake measurements, weekly weight monitoring, and weight gain calculations were performed. Either an independent sample t-test or the Mann-Whitney test was used. Results: Of the 42 rats included, 39 completed the study. Chronic unpredictable mild stress procedures for 21 days significantly reduced the SPT (p < 0.05), mean body weight (p < 0.05), and weekly weight gain (p < 0.05) in the CUMS group compared to the control group. However, the weekly average food intake did not statistically differ between the two groups. Conclusion: Psychological dominant CUMS modification to an animal model of depression resulted in lower SPT, body weight, and weekly weight gain in the CUMS group than in the control group.
- body weight
- chronic unpredictable mild stress
- sucrose preference test.