"Live together, die alone": The effect of re-socialization on behavioural performance and social-affective brain-related proteins after a long-term chronic social isolation stress.

Rivera DS, Lindsay CB, Oliva CA, Bozinovic F, Inestrosa NC.

Keywords: octodon degus, chronic stress, Anxiety-like behaviour, Re-socialization, Social memory-Oxytocin-Ca2+ signalling


Loneliness affects group-living mammals triggering a cascade of stress-dependent physiological disorders. Indeed, social isolation stress is a major risk factor for several neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression. Furthermore, social isolation has a negative impact on health and fitness. However, the neurobiological consequences of long-term chronic social isolation stress (LTCSIS) manifested during the adulthood of affected individuals are not fully understood. Our study assessed the impact of LTCSIS and social buffering (re-socialization) on the behavioural performance and social-affective brain-related proteins in diurnal, social, and long-lived Octodon degus (degus). Thereby, anxiety-like and social behaviour, and social recognition memory were assessed in male and female animals subjected to a variety of stress-inducing treatments applied from post-natal and post-weaning until their adulthood. Additionally, we evaluated the relationship among LTCSIS, Oxytocin levels (OXT), and OXT-Ca2+-signalling proteins in the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. Our findings suggest that LTCSIS induces anxiety like-behaviour and impairs social novelty preference whereas sociability is unaffected. On the other hand, re-socialization can revert both isolation-induced anxiety and social memory impairment. However, OXT and its signalling remained reduced in the abovementioned brain areas, suggesting that the observed changes in OXT-Ca2+ pathway proteins were permanent in male and female degus. Based on these findings, we conclude degus experience social stress differently, suggesting the existence of sex-related mechanisms to cope with specific adaptive challenges.

Más información

Título según SCOPUS: ID eid=2-s2.0-85098638459 Not found in local SCOPUS DB
Título de la Revista: NEUROBIOLOGY OF STRESS
Volumen: 14
Número: 100289
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Idioma: English
Financiamiento/Sponsor: This work was supported by a postdoctoral grant from Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnol ́ogico (FONDECYT) N◦11190603 to DSR. NCI was supported by grants from the Basal Centre of Excellence in Science and Technology (CONICYT-PFB12/2007)
URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289520300795?via%3Dihub