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Animal Behavior

Stephany M Biello, David R Bonsall, Lynsey A Atkinson, Penny C Molyneux, Mary E Harrington, Gurprit S Lall
Robust physiological circadian rhythms form an integral part of well-being. The aging process has been found to negatively impact systems that drive circadian physiology, typically manifesting as symptoms associated with abnormal/disrupted sleeping patterns. Here, we investigated the age-related decline in light-driven circadian entrainment in male C57BL/6J mice. We compared light-driven resetting of circadian behavioral activity in young (1-2 months) and old (14-18 months) mice and explored alterations in the glutamatergic pathway at the level of the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)...
February 20, 2018: Neurobiology of Aging
Ioana Miruna Balmus, Radu Lefter, Alin Ciobica, Iulia Antioch, Daniela Ababei, Romeo Dobrin
INTRODUCTION: Oxytocin (OT) is a well-known neuropeptides which together with vasopressin, melatonin, insulin and other hormones can alter both behavior and physiological or neuronal functions. This growing interest on OT roles is also based on the demonstrated beneficial effects as a stress reliever and a social bonding agent. The association between old age and OT was only vaguely studied. Little or few is known on the effect of the OT hormone on the old body. Hereby, we present our preliminary results in the research on behavioral changes regarding the intraperitoneal administration of OT in aged rats...
March 2018: Psychiatria Danubina
Yang Ye, Cun-Zhi Liu, Rui Wang, Yu-Wei Zhang, Bo Zhang, Yu Cui, Xue-Wei Liu, Shu-Ming Huang
Previous small animal models for menopausal transition are mainly performed to mimic the biochemical changes of patients with menopausal transition. The psychological symptoms in animal models are often overlooked. To mimic clinical situation, we developed a new mouse model of menopausal transition: the combination of bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) and empty bottle stimulation (EBS). After OVX and 21 days of EBS, behavioral test and pentobarbital-induced sleep test were carried out. Then all the animals were euthanized for further investigations...
March 16, 2018: Gynecological Endocrinology
SeungHwan Lee, Xiang Qun Shi, Anni Fan, Brian West, Ji Zhang
Introduction Neuropathic pain is a debilitating condition. The importance of neuroimmune interactions in neuropathic pain has been evidenced by the involvement of different immune cells in peripheral and central sensitization of pathological pain. Macrophages and microglia are the most abundant immune cells activated in injured nerves and spinal cord, respectively. Several lines of evidence showed that macrophage/microglia survival, activation, proliferation, and differentiation require the involvement of macrophage-colony stimulating factor...
January 2018: Molecular Pain
Dietmar Hübner
The prospect of creating and using human-animal chimeras and hybrids (HACHs) that are significantly human-like in their composition, phenotype, cognition, or behavior meets with divergent moral judgments: on the one side, it is claimed that such beings might be candidates for human-analogous rights to protection and care; on the other side, it is supposed that their existence might disturb fundamental natural and social orders. This paper tries to show that both positions are paradoxically intertwined: they rely on two kinds of species arguments, "individual species arguments" and "group species arguments," which formulate opposing demands but are conceptually interdependent...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
Yehuda Ben-Shahar
Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element that acts as a metal co-factor in diverse biochemical and cellular functions. However, chronic environmental exposure to high levels of Mn is a well-established risk factor for the etiology of severe, atypical parkinsonian syndrome (manganism) via its accumulation in the basal ganglia, pallidum, and striatum brain regions, which is often associated with abnormal dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neural signaling. Recent studies have indicated that chronic Mn exposure at levels that are below the risk for manganism can still cause behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions via poorly understood mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Misato Yoshikawa, Yoshiyuki Soeda, Makoto Michikawa, Osborne F X Almeida, Akihiko Takashima
Hippocampal hyperactivity, ascribed to amyloid β (Aβ)-induced imbalances in neural excitation and inhibition, is found in patients with mild cognitive impairment, a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To better understand the relationship between hippocampal hyperactivity and the molecular triggers of behavioral impairments in AD, we used Mn-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) to assess neuronal activity after subjecting mice to a task requiring spatial learning and memory. Depletion of endogenous tau in an amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic (J20) mouse line was shown to ameliorate hippocampal hyperactivity in J20 animals, tau depletion failed to reverse memory deficits associated with APP/Aβ overproduction...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Kutay Deniz Atabay, Samuel A LoCascio, Thom de Hoog, Peter W Reddien
During animal regeneration cells must organize into discrete and functional systems. We show that self-organization, along with patterning cues, govern progenitor behavior in planarian regeneration. Surgical paradigms allowed manipulation of planarian eye regeneration in predictable locations and numbers, generating alternative stable neuroanatomical states for wild-type animals with multiple functional ectopic eyes. We utilized animals with multiple ectopic eyes and eye transplantation to demonstrate that broad progenitor specification, combined with self-organization, allows anatomy maintenance during regeneration...
March 15, 2018: Science
Jenny Q Ouyang, Scott Davies, Davide Dominoni
Alternation between day and night is a predictable environmental fluctuation that organisms use to time their activities. Since the invention of artificial lighting, this predictability has been disrupted and continues to change in a unidirectional fashion with increasing urbanization. As hormones mediate individual responses to changing environments, endocrine systems might be one of the first systems affected, as well as being the first line of defense to ameliorate any negative health impacts. In this Review, we first highlight how light can influence endocrine function in vertebrates...
March 15, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Owen Y Chao, Richelle Yunger, Yi-Mei Yang
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are diagnosed based on the behavioral criteria of impaired social interaction, defective communication and repetitive behaviors. Psychiatric comorbidities, such as anxiety and intellectual disability, are commonly present in ASD. The BTBR T+Itpr3tf/J (BTBR) mice display a range of autistic phenotypes, yet whether this mouse model is appropriate to study psychiatric comorbidity in ASD remains unclear. We addressed this issue by subjecting the BTBR animals to three-chambered apparatus, open field, object attention test and elevated open platform...
March 12, 2018: Behavioural Brain Research
Εvgenia Dandi, Aikaterini Kalamari, Olga Touloumi, Rosa Lagoudaki, Evangelia Nousiopoulou, Constantina Simeonidou, Evangelia Spandou, Despina Α Tata
Exposure to environmental enrichment can beneficially influence the behavior and enhance synaptic plasticity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mediated effects of environmental enrichment on postnatal stress-associated impact with regard to behavior, stress reactivity as well as synaptic plasticity changes in the dorsal hippocampus. Wistar rat pups were submitted to a 3 h maternal separation (MS) protocol during postnatal days 1-21, while another group was left undisturbed. On postnatal day 23, a subgroup from each rearing condition (maternal separation, no-maternal separation) was housed in enriched environmental conditions until postnatal day 65 (6 weeks duration)...
March 12, 2018: International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Kamilla Blecharz-Klin, Adriana Wawer, Katarzyna Jawna-Zboińska, Justyna Pyrzanowska, Agnieszka Piechal, Dagmara Mirowska-Guzel, Ewa Widy-Tyszkiewicz
The biochemical and behavioral responses to prenatal and early postnatal exposure to paracetamol in rats are not well understood. The effect of daily maternal and early life administration of 5 mg/kg (group P5) or 15 mg/kg paracetamol (group P15) was evaluated in two-month old male rats, relative to control animals receiving tap water (Con). Social behavior and episodic memory were investigated with Social Interaction and Novel Object Recognition (NOR) tests. Quantification of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was determined in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)...
March 12, 2018: Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior
Carlos Crivelli, Alan J Fridlund
Based on modern theories of signal evolution and animal communication, the behavioral ecology view of facial displays (BECV) reconceives our 'facial expressions of emotion' as social tools that serve as lead signs to contingent action in social negotiation. BECV offers an externalist, functionalist view of facial displays that is not bound to Western conceptions about either expressions or emotions. It easily accommodates recent findings of diversity in facial displays, their public context-dependency, and the curious but common occurrence of solitary facial behavior...
March 12, 2018: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Caio M Moreira, Max Rollwage, Kristin Kaduk, Melanie Wilke, Igor Kagan
Humans and other animals constantly evaluate their decisions in order to learn and behave adaptively. Experimentally, such evaluation processes are accessed using metacognitive reports made after decisions, typically using verbally formulated confidence scales. When subjects report high confidence, it reflects a high certainty of being correct, but a low confidence might signify either low certainty about the outcome, or a high certainty of being incorrect. Hence, metacognitive reports might reflect not only different levels of decision certainty, but also two certainty directions (certainty of being correct and certainty of being incorrect)...
March 12, 2018: Cognition
Christopher J Lambert, Briana C Freshner, Arlen Chung, Tamara J Stevenson, D Miranda Bowles, Raheel Samuel, Bruce K Gale, Joshua L Bonkowsky
Zebrafish are a valuable model organism in biomedical research. Their rapid development, ability to model human diseases, utility for testing genetic variants identified from next-generation sequencing, amenity to CRISPR mutagenesis, and potential for therapeutic compound screening, has led to their wide-spread adoption in diverse fields of study. However, their power for large-scale screens is limited by the absence of automated genotyping tools for live animals. This constrains potential drug screen options, limits analysis of embryonic and larval phenotypes, and requires raising additional animals to adulthood to ensure obtaining an animal of the desired genotype...
2018: PloS One
Narges Pachenari, Hossein Azizi, Elmira Ghasemi, Maryam Azadi, Saeed Semnanian
During the past decades, the use/misuse of opioids has increased dramatically among adolescent population. It is now well acknowledged that various morphological and physiological changes occur in the brain during adolescence. During this critical period, brain development and maturation could be affected by several factors including stress, drug abuse, nutritional status, etc. Although studies on transgenerational effects of substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine have focused on both paternal and maternal drug exposure, most reports on transgenerational effects of morphine are restricted to maternal exposure...
April 2018: Behavioural Pharmacology
Daniela Schulz
Similar doses of caffeine have been shown to produce either anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects in rats. The reasons for these conflicting results are not known. We hypothesized that food deprivation stress interacts with the stimulant effects of caffeine to increase anxiety-like behavior. We tested 32 female Sprague Dawley rats in a dim open field for 10 min. Half of the animals were food deprived for 24 h and injected (intraperitoneal) with caffeine (30 mg/kg; n=7) or deionized water (n=8) 20 min before the open field test...
March 14, 2018: Behavioural Pharmacology
Yong-Jun Xu, Hui Sheng, Tian-Wen Wu, Qing-Yue Bao, You Zheng, Yan-Min Zhang, Yu-Xiang Gong, Jian-Qiang Lu, Zhen-Dong You, Yang Xia, Xin Ni
Pregnant women at risk of preterm labor usually receive synthetic glucocorticoids (sGCs) to promote fetal lung development. Emerging evidence indicates that antenatal sGC increases the risk of affective disorders in offspring. Data from animal studies show that such disorders can be transmitted to the second generation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the intergenerational effects of prenatal sGC remain largely unknown. Here we show that prenatal dexamethasone (Dex) administration in late pregnancy induced depression-like behavior in first-generation (F1) offspring, which could be transmitted to second-generation (F2) offspring with maternal dependence...
March 15, 2018: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
James W Checco, Guo Zhang, Wangding Yuan, Ke Yu, Siyuan Yin, Rachel H Roberts-Galbraith, Peter M Yau, Elena V Romanova, Jian Jing, Jonathan V Sweedler
Neuropeptides in several animals undergo an unusual post-translational modification: the isomerization of an amino acid residue from the L-stereoisomer to the D-stereoisomer. The resulting D-amino acid-containing peptide (DAACP) often displays higher biological activity than its all-L-residue analogue, with the D-residue being critical for function in many cases. However, little is known about the full physiological roles played by DAACPs and few studies have examined the interaction of DAACPs with their cognate receptors...
March 15, 2018: ACS Chemical Biology
Mark Stewart
This review traces the examination of autonomic, cardiovascular, and respiratory derangements associated with seizure activity in the clinical and preclinical literature generally, and in the author's animal model specifically, and concludes with the author's views on the potential mechanisms for sudden death in epilepsy (SUDEP). An animal model that employs kainic acid-induced seizures on a background of urethane anesthesia has permitted unprecedented access to the behavior of autonomic, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems during seizure activity...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Physiological Sciences: JPS
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