Chronic social stress does not affect behavioural habituation in male CD1 mice.
SourceBehavioural Brain Research, 273, (2014), pp. 34-44
Article / Letter to editor
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Behavioural Brain Research
SubjectRadboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Various protocols to induce chronic stress in rodents are being used to determine the effects and underlying mechanisms of prolonged stress experience. Recently, a novel chronic social stress (CSS) protocol has been developed for mice where social instability in adolescence and early adulthood is induced. This protocol has been shown to cause an increase in HPA-axis activity and acute avoidance behaviour in the elevated plus maze. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of this CSS protocol on habituation to an initially novel environment in CD1 mice, since it has been shown that initially high avoidance behaviour in mice can still be followed by rapid habituation, pointing towards an adaptive response. One group of male mice, the CSS group, was exposed to the CSS protocol for 7 weeks and we compared their behavioural and physiological responses with male mice that were housed in a stable social group, the SH group. The results reveal a decrease in body weight gain and fur condition, changes in adrenal weight and decreased GR mRNA expression in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in chronically stressed CD1 animals. Irrespective of such evidence for a significantly stressful effect of the protocol, CD 1 mice, after termination of the stress procedure, revealed habituation profiles that matched those of control animals. We conclude that the physiological and central-nervous effects caused by a CSS procedure as used in this experiment fall within the coping capacities of CD1 mice at the behavioural level.
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