Infoscience

Student project

Rat model: neural substrates of the battered woman syndrome

This study is part of a long term study on a male rat model of peripubertal stress in the Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics that shows increase aggressive behaviours against their partners. We are using here these rats in order to create a female rat model victim of Intimate Partner Violence during pregnancy and to study the generalisation of fear to all male, that is a symptom of this type of aggression, through behavioural analysis, serotonergic cell activation of the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus (DRN) and activation of other regions known to interact with the DRN such as Periaqueductal Gray (PAG) and Amygdala. This study also reveal an in-utero transmission of aggressive behaviours to the offspring of peripubertally stressed male. Our findings suggest that our model show a generalisation of fear that depends on the type of aggression experienced. This generalisation is mediated by an increase of activation of serotonergic cells of the DRN as well as a general disruption of pattern of activation at the basal level. Interestingly, our results do not show a clear direct link between activation of DRN, PAG and Amygdala during generalisation of fear

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