The grip strength meter test allows the study of neuromuscular functions in rodents by determining the maximum force displayed by an animal. This test is included in the Functional Observational Battery (FOB) to screen for neurobehavioral toxicity. In this context, changes in grip strength are interpreted as evidence of motor neurotoxicity.
Basically, the grip strength meter is positioned horizontally and the subjects are held by the tail and lowered towards the apparatus. The animals are allowed to grasp the metal grid or triangular pull bar and are then pulled backwards in the horizontal plane. The force applied to the grid or to the bar just before it loses grip is recorded as the peak tension.
The major challenge of this test is the great inter-individual variation of the data between the subjects so a special care has to be done about animal habituation/ handling and experimenter training.
The grip strength test represents a complementary test to the rotarod test.