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Childhood stress impairs social function through AVP-dependent mechanisms

Brydges, Nichola M., Hall, Jessica, Best, Caroline, Rule, Lowenna, Watkin, Holly, Drake, Amanda J., Lewis, Catrin ORCID:, Thomas, Kerrie L. ORCID: and Hall, Jeremy 2019. Childhood stress impairs social function through AVP-dependent mechanisms. Translational Psychiatry 9 (1) , 330. 10.1038/s41398-019-0678-0

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Impaired social function is a core feature of many psychiatric illnesses. Adverse experiences during childhood increase risk for mental illness, however it is currently unclear whether stress early in life plays a direct role in the development of social difficulties. Using a rat model of pre-pubertal stress (PPS), we investigated effects on social behaviour, oxytocin and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the periphery (plasma) and centrally in the paraventricular and supraoptic hypothalamic nuclei. We also explored social performance and AVP expression (plasma) in participants with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who experienced a high incidence of childhood stress. Social behaviour was impaired and AVP expression increased in animals experiencing PPS and participants with BPD. Behavioural deficits in animals were rescued through administration of the AVPR1a antagonist Relcovaptan (SR49059). AVP levels and recognition of negative emotions were significantly correlated in BPD participants only. In conclusion, early life stress plays a role in the precipitation of social dysfunction, and AVP mediates at least part of this effect.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISSN: 2158-3188
Funders: NMHRI, Jane Hodge Foundation, The Waterloo Foundataion
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 27 November 2019
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2023 10:52

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