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.

"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 September 22, 2014 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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