c-Fos expression after neonatal handling in social brain regions: Distinctive profile of RHA-rat schizophrenia model on a social preference test.

D Sampedro-Viana, T Cañete, F Sanna, I Oliveras, M Castillo-Ruiz, MG Corda, O Giorgi, Adolf Tobena, A Fernández-Teruel

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Neonatal handling (NH) is an environmental manipulation that induces long-lasting changes in behavioural, neuroendocrine, and neuroanatomical processes in rodents. We have previously reported that NH treatment increases social interaction preference in an animal model of schizophrenia-relevant features, the Roman high-avoidance (RHA) rats. The present study was aimed at evaluating whether the increase of social behaviour/preference due to NH treatment in RHA rats is associated with differences in c-Fos expression levels in some of the brain areas that integrate the "social brain". To this aim, we evaluated the performance of adult male rats from both Roman rat strains (RHA vs. RLA -Roman low-avoidance- rats), either untreated (control) or treated with NH (administered during the first 21 days of life) in a social interaction task. For the analyses of c-Fos activation untreated and NH-treated animals were divided into three different experimental conditions: undisturbed home cage controls (HC); rats exposed to the testing set-up context (CTX); and rats exposed to a social interaction (SI) test. It was found that, compared with their RLA counterparts, NH treatment increased social behaviour in RHA rats, and also specifically enhanced c-Fos expression in RHA rats tested for SI in some brain areas related to social behaviour, i.e. the infralimbic cortex (IL) and the medial posterodorsal amygdala (MePD) regions.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número d’article114625
RevistaBehavioural Brain Research
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 13 de set. 2023

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