Establishment of a repeated social defeat stress model in female mice

Mice genetically engineered to be mean fighting machines help beat back sexism in science.

That’s the gist of this exciting new paper co-authored by my favorite lab scientist, Dr. Yael G..

She has long been studying why some mice who are bullied seem to get depressed, while others are resilient. (Seem because these are mice, not people, but most of the signs are there.) All the studies have used male mice. Which is a problem, since depression in humans is not gender neutral.

The thing is, the technique used to bully mice into depression doesn’t work on female rats, because male mice don’t naturally bully female mice. Enter genetic engineering, which produces mice who can be programmed to beat up on female mice (as well as inanimate objects).

Full details, including sex-based differences in what sort of living arrangements will best depress bullied mice, here