Attenuating effects of the isolated rearing condition on increased brain serotonin and dopamine turnover elicited by novelty stress.Brain Res 2002; 926(1-2):10-7BR
Isolation and acute environmental change are risk factors in human depression. In the present study, we investigated the differences in the brain monoamine activity of rats between two rearing conditions, isolated and group. Moreover, we examined the responses to novelty stress. Male F344 rats aged 11 weeks were divided into the above two groups. Four weeks later they were further divided into non-stress and stress groups. The latter received 20 min exposure to novelty stress. Isolation significantly changed brain monoamine levels, with the levels of dopamine (DA) in the nucleus accumbens and midbrain, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in the midbrain, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the hippocampus increasing. Serotonin (5-HT) levels also increased in all brain areas except the raphe nuclei. HVA levels in the raphe nuclei decreased. Novelty stress significantly altered brain monoamine levels. DA, DOPAC, and HVA levels in the prefrontal cortex decreased, as did those of 5-HT in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. DA levels in the nucleus accumbens increased. Isolation attenuated the enhanced brain monoamine turnover elicited by novelty stress. The enhanced DA turnover ratio in the prefrontal cortex of the group-reared group was attenuated in the isolated-reared group, and the unchanged DA turnover ratio in the nucleus accumbens of the group-reared group declined in the isolated-reared group. The enhanced 5-HT turnover ratio in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus of the group-reared group was attenuated in the isolated-reared group. Isolation may exacerbate adaptation to stress, and be related to the etiology of human depression.