Experimental Principle

The loaned swimming test is to add a weighted device to the tail of the animal and let the animal swim in the water with weight and reach the state of exhaustion. This is an early experimental method used to build animal locomotor fatigue models. The experiment has the advantages of simple method and equipment, and accurate experimental results.

Experimental Flow

  • The mice were grouped and marked before the experiment, and the water temperature in the device was adjusted.
  • A weight of about 10% of its own body weight was suspended from the posterior one-third of the mouse’s tail and lightly placed in a homemade cylindrical water tank.
  • The time from putting the mice into the swimming tank to sinking into the water >10s was recorded as the weighted swimming time of the mice.


The loaned swimming test in rodents are widely used to evaluate the anti-fatigue effects of anti-fatigue drugs or some nutraceuticals.  Loaned swimming test has been used in the evaluation of drugs such as

  • Anti-fatigue study of melatonin in mice.
  • Anti-fatigue effect of yucca polysaccharide on mice.
  • Evaluation of the effect and safety of Ginseng and Astragalus tablets in relieving physical fatigue in mice.

Anti-fatigue activity of aqueous extracts of Sonchus arvensis L. in exercise trained mice

Fig. 1 Anti-fatigue activity of aqueous extracts of Sonchus arvensis L. in exercise trained mice. (Yuan, 2019).

By cathyy

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