Measuring social interactions in drug discovery
Disturbed social behaviors are symptoms in psychiatric and neurological disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, (negative symptoms of) schizophrenia, (behavioral symptoms of) Alzheimer’s disease and autism. Many rodent models have been described, allowing assessment of various social behaviors, with different values for predicting efficacy in these disorders. Nevertheless, behavioral models based on social behavior are not commonly employed in drug discovery. An overview will be presented of four paradigms based on social behavior: dominant submissive behavior in rats, a model based on natural hierarchy which may have predictive and face validity for depression and manic phase of bipolar disorder. Social-isolation induced aggression in mice, which is a model based on environmentally-induced behavior. In addition, two pharmacologically-induced social deficit models which may have predictive validity of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia: social interaction deficits induced by the NMDA antagonist PCP in rats, and deficit in huddling induced by the dopamine D3 preferring agonist PD 12,8907.
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