Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pitfalls Of Puberty: New Animal Research Shows Stress During Adolescence Alters Behavior And Brain Chemistry

Date:
April 10, 1998
Source:
Society For Neuroscience
Summary:
New research indicates that exposure to stress during puberty results in abnormal aggressive and submissive behaviors as well as neurobiological alterations in hamsters.

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 8 -- New research indicates that exposure to stress during puberty results in abnormal aggressive and submissive behaviors as well as neurobiological alterations in hamsters.

Related Articles


"The findings underscore the effects of social stress during puberty in hamsters," says the study's lead author, Yvon Delville, PhD, an assistant professor in the psychiatry department at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. "The results also show that an imbalance in the vasopressin and serotonin brain chemical systems may contribute to inappropriate behavior."

Delville's study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and a Joseph P. Healy Endowment award, is published in the April 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"These robust data show the importance of experience during the adolescent period on the maturation of neural systems and behavior," says stress expert, Michael Meaney, PhD, of Douglas Hospital Research Centre in Montreal. "Puberty has been a greatly underestimated area of study."

The researchers' first finding demonstrates that exposing adolescent male hamsters to stress by caging them with bullying adults alters their behavior. The stressed hamsters become more fearful of animals their own size than unstressed siblings. On the other hand, they become more likely to bite and attack small, more vulnerable animals.

A second finding indicates that the behavior changes are associated with alterations in two brain chemical systems. "We found that the animals that experienced the stress during puberty had reduced levels of the chemical vasopressin and an increased density of serotonin nerve cell terminals in the brain area known as the hypothalamus," says Delville. Previous research showed that vasopressin facilitates aggressive behavior and that serotonin inhibits aggressive behavior in hamsters and other species.

"We suspect that the stressed hamster has a decreased release of vasopressin and an enhanced release of serotonin when it confronts a hamster that resembles itself," says Delville. "And the reverse may occur when the stressed hamster encounters a meeker hamster."

The researchers plan to test their theory further by examining vasopressin and serotonin activity in hypothalamus samples taken from the stressed hamsters while they were interacting with other hamsters. They also hope to determine if other chemicals are involved in the behavior changes and whether the chemical alterations are reversible.

Delville is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, an organization of more than 27,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. The Society publishes The Journal of Neuroscience.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Neuroscience. "Pitfalls Of Puberty: New Animal Research Shows Stress During Adolescence Alters Behavior And Brain Chemistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101339.htm>.
Society For Neuroscience. (1998, April 10). Pitfalls Of Puberty: New Animal Research Shows Stress During Adolescence Alters Behavior And Brain Chemistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101339.htm
Society For Neuroscience. "Pitfalls Of Puberty: New Animal Research Shows Stress During Adolescence Alters Behavior And Brain Chemistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101339.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins