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Review Article | Open Access

Animal models of stress and stress-related neurocircuits: A comprehensive review

Mengxin Ma1,2,§Xin Chang1,§Haitao Wu1,3,4( )
Department of Neurobiology, Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing 100850, China
Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
Chinese Institute for Brain Research, Beijing 102206, China
Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Co-innovation Center of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, 226019, China

§ Mengxin Ma and Xin Chang contributed equally to this work.

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Stress is considered to be one of the common pathogenic factors leading to mental disorders. Acute severe stress events or chronic distress could lead to depression and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, the establishment of stress animal models in the laboratory to mimic the stress suffering in humans would be beneficial for better understanding the etiology and mechanisms underlying stress-induced mental disorders. In addition, the development of powerful tools such as optogenetics and chemogenetics has made more rapid progress to reveal the critical neural circuits in regulating the pathogenesis of stress-induced disorders. This review firstly summarized the well-established different types of stress animal models widely used in the laboratory including acute stress models, chronic stress models, models of surgical stress, drug-induced stress models, and genetic mutation-associated stress models. Moreover, we also summarized the latest progress in understanding the characteristics and mechanisms of stress-related neurocircuits that are critical for discovering novel therapeutic strategies for stress-induced mental disorders.


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Stress and Brain
Pages 108-127
Cite this article:
Ma M, Chang X, Wu H. Animal models of stress and stress-related neurocircuits: A comprehensive review. Stress and Brain, 2021, 1(2): 108-127.








Received: 12 February 2021
Revised: 21 April 2021
Accepted: 07 May 2021
Published: 25 June 2021
© The Author(s) 2021

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