Stressful life events
are among the most potent factors that trigger or induce depressive
episodes in humans.
The stress hypothesis of mood disorders has stimulated the development
of animal models of depression.
Animal models are invaluable in human psychopathology preclinical
research. Valid animal models, used to study the pathophysiology
of depression and specific biological and behavioral responses to
antidepressant drug treatments, are of prime interest.
In recent years, we could demonstrate that chronic psychosocial stress
in a non-rodent species, the male tree shrew (Tupaia
represents a natural and valid paradigm for studying the behavioral,
endocrine, and neurobiological changes that may underlie stress-related
disorders such as major depression.