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Chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) has been found to produce different impacts on anxiety-like behaviors, spatial cognitive function and memory in rodents with different susceptibilities. However, the impacts of chronic social defeat on social behaviors in adult male mice with different susceptibilities to social defeat and the underlying mechanisms in the brain remain unclear. In the present study, we found that ten days of social defeat reduced the tendency of susceptible adult male C57 mice to approach an unfamiliar individual and increased their avoidance of an unfamiliar CD-1 mouse but had no effects on resilient individuals. In addition, CSDS enhanced anxiety-like behavior in susceptible animals, but produced no effects in the resilient group. Meanwhile, CSDS increased the number of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-positive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and CRF-R2-positive neurons in the accumbens nucleus shell in both resilient and susceptible animals. CSDS increased the number of CRF-R1-positive neurons and CRF-R1 mRNA expression in the prelimbic cortex (PrL) and the number of CRF-R2-positive neurons in the basolateral amygdala, but reduced the number of CRF-R2-positive neurons and mRNA expression in the PrL in susceptible animals. Therefore, the different effects of CSDS on sociability and anxiety-like behavior in mice with different susceptibilities may be associated with region- and type-specific alterations in CRF receptor levels. These findings help us understand the underlying mechanism by which social stress affects emotion and social behavior and provides an important basis for the treatment of disorders of social and emotional behavior caused by social stress. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Qianqian Guo, Limin Wang, Wei Yuan, Laifu Li, Jing Zhang, Wenjuan Hou, Yang Yang, Xueni Zhang, Wenqi Cai, Huan Ma, YuFeng Xun, Rui Jia, Zhixiong He, Fadao Tai. Different effects of chronic social defeat on social behavior and the brain CRF system in adult male C57 mice with different susceptibilities. Behavioural brain research. 2020 Apr 20;384:112553

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PMID: 32057826

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