Long-term effects of a single exposure to immobilization: A C-fos mRNA study of the response to the homotypic stressor in the rat brain

Astrid Vallès, Octavi Martí, Antonio Armario

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A single exposure to a severe emotional stressor such as immobilization in wooden boards (IMO) causes long-term (days to weeks) peripheral and central desensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to the same (homotypic) stressor. However, the brain areas putatively involved in long-term desensitization are unknown. In the present experiment, adult male rats were subjected to 2 h of IMO and, 1 or 4 weeks later, exposed again to 1 h IMO together with stress-naive rats. C-fos mRNA activation just after IMO and 1 h after the termination of IMO (post-IMO) were evaluated by in situ hybridization. Whereas in most brain areas c-fos mRNA induction caused by the last IMO session was similar in stress-naive (controls) and previously immobilized rats, a few brain areas showed a reduced c-fos mRNA response: ventral lateral septum (LSv), medial amygdala (MeA), parvocellular region of the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (pPVN), and locus coeruleus (LC). In contrast, an enhanced expression was observed in the medial division of the bed nucleus stria terminalis (BSTMv). The present work demonstrates that a previous experience with a stressor can induce changes in c-fos mRNA expression in different brain areas in response to the homotypic stressor and suggests that LSv, MeA, and BSTMv may be important for providing signals to lower diencephalic (pPVN) and brainstem (LC) nuclei, which results in a lower physiological response to the homotypic stressor. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-602
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Volume66
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006

Keywords

  • Bed nucleus
  • C-fos
  • Hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus
  • Medial amygdala
  • Stress

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