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Isolation rearing induces social and emotional function abnormalities and alters glutamate and neurodevelopment-related gene expression in rats.

Zhao X., Sun L., Jia H., Meng Q., Wu S., Li N., He S.

Isolation rearing induces various cognitive abnormalities such as reversal learning deficits and reduced prepulse inhibition in rats. However, there are few reports in the literature on its effects on social and emotional functions. In the current study we aimed to address these issues and demonstrated that isolation rearing induced aggression and impaired social recognition, produced moderate anxiogenic effects in the elevated-plus maze, and resulted in hyperactivity in a novel open field. We also found NR2A, NR2B, PSD-95 and SAP-102 mRNA expression were significantly up-regulated in the hippocampus while NR2B was down-regulated in prefrontal cortex in response to isolation rearing. This study advances the use of social isolation as an animal model for studying etiological mechanisms of various neuropsychiatric disorders.

Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 33:1173-1177(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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