They have determined the role of the corticosterone (stress hormone) receptor, in the long-term behavioral change triggered by chronic stress. In mice subject to repeated aggressions, this receptor participates in the development of social aversion by controlling the release of dopamine2, a key chemical messenger. If this receptor is blocked, the animals become “resilient”: although anxious, they overcome the trauma and no longer avoid contact with their fellow creatures. This work is published in Science on 18 January 2013.
1 More precisely, this work was conducted by a team from the laboratory “Physiopathologie des Maladies du Système Nerveux Central” (CNRS/Inserm/UPMC), in collaboration with the laboratory “Neurobiologie des Processus Adaptatifs” (CNRS/UPMC).
2 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, in other words a substance that modulates the activity of neurons in the brain.
Chronic Stress Triggers Social Aversion via Glucocorticoid Receptor in Dopaminoceptive Neurons. Jacques Barik, Fabio Marti, Carole Morel, Sebastian P. Fernandez, Christophe Lanteri, Gérard Godeheu, Jean-Pol Tassin, Cédric Mombereau, Philippe Faure, François Tronche. Science, 18 January 2013.