Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/95204
Title: Short-term enrichment makes male rats more attractive, more defensive and alters hypothalamic neurons
Authors: Sapolsky, Robert M.
Mitra, Rupshi
Keywords: DRNTU::Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Mitra, R., & Sapolsky, R. M. (2012). Short-Term Enrichment Makes Male Rats More Attractive, More Defensive and Alters Hypothalamic Neurons. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e36092.
Series/Report no.: PLoS ONE
Abstract: Innate behaviors are shaped by contingencies built during evolutionary history. On the other hand, environmental stimuli play a significant role in shaping behavior. In particular, a short period of environmental enrichment can enhance cognitive behavior, modify effects of stress on learned behaviors and induce brain plasticity. It is unclear if modulation by environment can extend to innate behaviors which are preserved by intense selection pressure. In the present report we investigate this issue by studying effects of relatively short (14-days) environmental enrichment on two prominent innate behaviors in rats, avoidance of predator odors and ability of males to attract mates. We show that enrichment has strong effects on both the innate behaviors: a) enriched males were more avoidant of a predator odor than non-enriched controls, and had a greater rise in corticosterone levels in response to the odor; and b) had higher testosterone levels and were more attractive to females. Additionally, we demonstrate decrease in dendritic length of neurons of ventrolateral nucleus of hypothalamus, important for reproductive mate-choice and increase in the same in dorsomedial nucleus, important for defensive behavior. Thus, behavioral and hormonal observations provide evidence that a short period of environmental manipulation can alter innate behaviors, providing a good example of gene-environment interaction.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/95204
http://hdl.handle.net/10220/9305
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036092
Rights: © 2012 The Authors.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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