Navigation Links
Effects of social isolation traced to brain hormone
Date:11/14/2007

The anxiety and aggression that result from social isolation have been traced to altered levels of an enzyme that controls production of a brain hormone.

The study, done in mice by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, is reported in this week's online addition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We use this animal model for human stress because social isolation in both animals and humans can be responsible for a range of psychological effects, including anxiety, aggression and memory impairment," said Dr. Erminio Costa, director of the UIC Psychiatric Institute, professor of biochemistry and one of the authors of the study.

Previous studies had suggested that the neural pathways that underlie aggression, anxiety and fear include activation of specific types of neural circuitry that leads into the amygdala, the region of the brain responsible for emotion.

The researchers looked in these types of neurons for changes in the levels of two enzymes that are needed for the production of allopregnanolone, a brain hormone that acts to reduce stress through regulation of GABA, an important neurotransmitter. They found that the level of one of the enzymes, called 5-alpha-reductase type I, was reduced nearly 50 percent in the lonesome mice. Levels of the other enzyme did not change.

The researchers suggest that the decrease of 5-alpha-reductase type I and the consequent reduction in the hormone may impair the function of circuits leading to the amygdala and explain the aggressive behavior, perhaps related to anxiety, in socially isolated mice.

"Humans respond to similar stress in very similar ways," said Dr. Alessandro Guidotti, UIC scientific director and professor of biochemistry in psychiatry. "By identifying the mechanism we may be able to identify drugs that can treat these effects of stress."

UIC researchers Roberto Agis-Balboa, Dr. Graziano Pinna, Fabio Pibiri and Dr. Bashkim Kadriu also contributed to the study. The work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. Pibiri was supported in part by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, Italy.

UIC ranks among the nation's top 50 universities in federal research funding and is Chicago's largest university with 25,000 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New paper examines dams effects on California salmon
2. University and state agencies to forecast local health effects of climate change
3. Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
4. Decoding effects of toxins on embryo development
5. Microbial biofilms evoke Jekyll & Hyde effects
6. Too much sugar turns off gene that controls the effects of sex steroids
7. Dartmouth researchers show effects of low dose arsenic on development
8. Social habits of cells may hold key to fighting diseases
9. Social parasites of the smaller kind
10. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
11. NHGRI funds new Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/17/2016)... INDUSTRY, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just ... servers in organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. ... ... ... Setting up a ...
(Date:11/15/2016)...  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a ... gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of an ... common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 shares ... the public of $1.00 per share and accompanying ... offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from the ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today ... Study SM —the largest and most comprehensive study driving ... myeloma—will be presented at the 58 th American ... San Diego from December 3-6. ... as well as identify pathways and targets for new ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ACEA Biosciences, Inc. announced today that it will be presenting ... the World Conference on Lung Cancer 2016, taking place in Vienna, Austria December 3rd-8th. ... trials for AC0010 in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring the EGFR ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... event is expanding to three days and will take place on February 1-3, 2017 ... (GSK) and Dr James Gulley (NCI), the program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... Robots ... Light Event on December 3rd, 2016. The event, which is held on the ... work with helping Americans with Disabilities back into the workplace. Suitable Technologies is partnering ...
Breaking Biology Technology: