Effects of Chronic Social Stress in Both Social Interaction and Expression of Serotonin 5-HT1A Receptors in the Paraventricular and the Supraoptic Nuclei of the Hypothalamus

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that animals exposed to social stress decrease their social interaction with conspecifics in addition to changes in their neurobiological responses. Knowing that serotonin 5-HT1A receptors are involved in aggressive behaviors and behaviors related to anxiety, the goal of this study was to identify how chronic social stress affects social interaction and the expression of the serotonin 5-HT1A receptors in both the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus. The results of this study showed that Wistar rats exposed to chronic social stress had less social interactions with novel conspecifics and less expression of serotonin 5-HT1A receptors only in the PVN, suggesting less aggressive behavior and an increase of behaviors related to anxiety, such as avoidance.

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