General screening


Porsolt offers models in all areas of psychopharmacology, epilepsy, sleep-wake, and neurodegenerative disorders. We are uniquely placed to offer a full range of CNS efficacy and safety pharmacology assessments, from basic models and regulatory tests, through the evaluation of abuse and dependence liability and proconvulsant risk using EEG.

General screening

Porsolt possesses considerable expertise in Neuropsychopharmacology. Our scientists deliver insight and data to progress your discovery program from screening studies focusing on the general ffect of drugs on behavior, to tailored models that give indication on drug profile of action and side effects.

As psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system, we have validated psychopharmacology studies using a wide range of references substances with various types of psychoactive properties.

Porsolt can also provide tailored models and collaborate with you to develop study designs to address the treatment of psychiatric diseases, degenerative and sleep disorders.

Basic psychopharmacology | General effects

We perform the standardized Primary Observation - Irwin Test (Irwin S. Psychopharmacologia, 13, 222-257, 1968) with up to 30 behavioral and physiological signs in both rats and mice. Other specific signs can also be included upon request.

In addition, Porsolt offers to evaluate in follow-up tests the effects of compounds on the Locomotor activity, Motor skills, Motor coordination, Muscular tone, Olfaction, Cannabinoid-like activity or hypnotic interaction.

See below our methods and references

Follow-up Studies - Efficacy & Safety evaluation of compounds

Mood disorders

Our testing procedures are relevant for the detection of antidepressant or anxiolytic-like activity alone, and some models can be useful for both indications.



Porsolt provides in-vivo models evaluating positive symptoms, sensory filtering & pre-attentional processes, cognitive deficits & negative symptoms as well as side effect liability.


Discover our Screening Cascade to evaluate anticonvulsant activity and our models predictive of anticonvulsant activity: Generalized seizures | Partial  seizures | Absence seizure.


Porsolt offers models of acute and chronic pain and inflammation matching the needs of the industry and maintaining a recognized expertise, which addresses pain therapeutic endpoints and pain associated symptoms and side effects.

Reference & Methods


Locomotor activity

Activity meter test

Detection of stimulant or sedative activity

Motor skills Foot-fault

Assessment placement dysfunctions of the paws

Removal of adhesive tests

Assessment of sensorimotor functions

Motor coordination
Rotarod tests

Detection of neurological deficits

Beam walking test

Assessment of motor functions

Hypnotic interaction Barbital / Ethanol interaction tests

Detection of anti-sleep or sedative/hypnotic activity

Cannabinoid-like profile Tetrad test

Detection of cannabinoid-like activity

We evaluate sequentially: ambulation and rearing (Activity Meter Test), immobility (Bar Test), hypothermia (Rectal Temperature Test) and antinociception (Hot Plate Test) 

Muscular tone Grip Strength test

The method detects effects on muscular tone

Olfaction Odor Discrimination
The odor discrimination test is able to detect impairing effects of test substances on the olfactory system


The method detects stimulant or sedative activity. The activity meter consists of cages contained within a darkened cabinet. Each cage is equipped with photocell assemblies in order to measure the number of horizontal and vertical movements of each animal.

Caffeine dose-dependently increases locomotion whereas chlorpromazine has the opposite effect.

Student’s t tests: comparison with vehicle controls , * : p< 0.05


The method detects neurological deficits, in particular motor coordination. Rodents are placed on a rod rotating at a fixed speed. The number of animals which drop off the rod within 3 minutes is counted and the drop-off times recorded (maximum: 3 minutes).

Diazepam administered at 2, 4 or 8 mg/kg p.o. 60 minutes before the test dose-dependently impairs motor coordination.

Student’s t tests: comparison with vehicle controls , * : p< 0.05.

The test can also use a procedure including accelareting speed.