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Mouse, Rat

Tail Suspension Test

Product Code:40182/40183

Antidepressant drugs and depression animal model genetic screening are commonly conducted by using the Tail Suspension Test (TST). This test is based on the aversive effect of hanging a mouse of rat by the tail, which elicits its struggling moving upwards in an attempt to escape (which is obviously not possible).

The struggling attempt tends to be shorter in duration and translates into animal immobility in depressed animals and recovers by use of antidepressants. The test is video-tracking based by measuring in one or multiple animals the immobility during the test. The Ugo Basile system comes complete with a U-shaped chamber to run more animals at the time and a hook where the animal is kept hanging. The camera positioned in front of the chambers detects the immobility in multiple animals simultaneously.

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  • The test normally lasts a few minutes (about 5) and measures the proportion of tail climbing versus immobility
  • The concept behind the test is that, although depression is a complex disorder, some aspects can be measured in a lab setting, for example exploiting the fact that stress-induced immobility does correlate with depression in rodents.
  • Immobility is interpreted as behavioral despair, similarly to what happens in the Forced Swim Porsolt Test.

Simple to set-up, accurate and for multiple animals

  • The Ugo Basile Tail Suspension System is very simple in its construction using a U-shaped chamber with a hook attached to the lid of the chamber.
  • A specific grey color of the background maximizes contrast with animals of all colors for accurate video-tracking and in addition, custom colors are available
  • Many chambers (up to 46) can be used at the same time and the immobility of the animals scored, by using a one or multiple cameras positioned in front of the animals.
  • The software automatically scores immobility and allows the user to also manually score behaviors by the use of pre-assigned keys.
  • Data are saved as text, graphical and statistical reports, including raw data that can be seamlessly exported into Excel.



Easy to assembly and mat grey colored

Works in automatic mode, with video tracking, on both light and dark animals

Divider + Lid and hook parts to be used as Porsolt divider for multiple animals or as multiple animal tail suspension

Works as divider for multiple Porsolt devices or as a stand-alone tail suspension

Capable to measure immobility in > 10 animals at the time with multiple cameras in light or darkness

High throughput, while using only 1 software and 1 or multiple cameras

Compatible with Porsolt Forced Swim Test, also in “Combo” version

Allows a low cost, high effectiveness combo system for multiple mice and rat Porsolt and Tail Suspension Test

The animal is kept hanging by its tail at about 10 centimeters from the ground for about 5 minutes. During this time the animal tries to escape showing a a tail climbing behavior, until a behavioral despair occurs. The tail climbing is longer in animals which are not depressed or that have been given anti-depressant drugs, so that the measurement of immobility gives an indication of the depression state of the animal.

The translational power of the test has been questioned because the human depression condition is a long-lasting condition, while the TST test is a short experiment. For this reason, some prefer to use it as a tool to measure antidepressant effects of drugs, rather than a proxy for depression states.

In any case the TST, together with the Porsolt Forced Swim test are still the most used test to assess depression in rodents, as shown by the amount of citations exceeding 50,000.

Tail Suspension
40182 Tail Suspension for Large Rats
40183 Tail Suspension for Mice and small rats


Lid only for Tail Suspension for Large Rats (requires 40122-320 Porsolt Dividers)
40123-321 Lid only for Tail Suspension for Mice and Rats (requires 40123-320 Porsolt Dividers)
60000-FST ANY-maze for Porsolt and Tail Suspension Test immobility scoring
47400-040 BW USB camera with 1.8-12 mm day & night varifocal lens
E-AU 119 Table tripod for cameras
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