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Activation of CRF neurons in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) in male rats exposed to social defeat/witness stress

Grant number: 17/26566-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal researcher:Carlos Cesar Crestani
Grantee:Leandro Augusto de Oliveira
Supervisor abroad: Susan Kathleen Wood
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of South Carolina, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:14/23082-5 - Role of CRF neurotransmission in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in control of cardiovascular function in rats: involvement in cardiovascular changes evoked by chronic variable stress?, BP.DR


The bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) is a limbic structure involved in behavioral, neuroendocrine and autonomic responses to aversive threats. However, the neurochemical mechanisms involved in BNST control of stress responses are still poorly understood. Previous studies reported an involvement of corticotrophin-release factor (CRF) neurotransmission in the BNST in control of cardiovascular responses to stress. These evidence were obtained using traditional emotional stressors, such as restraint stress and fear conditioning. However, a possible role of BNST in control of cardiovascular responses evoked by animal models of social stress has never been evaluated. Social stressors are considered more ethological and translational than restraint stress and fear conditioning. In this sense, the resident-intruder paradigm of social defeat is often used to model social stress in rodents as it is well known to evoke behavioral and physiological changes. As the most part of social defeat interaction in resident-intruder paradigm involves physical attacks, social defeat witness stress model, which consist of animals watching episodes of social interaction but not being subjected to any physical contact, have emerged as a mechanism allowing a comparison between physical and psychological exposure to social stress. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determinate activation of CRF neurons within the BNST in male rats acutely exposed to social defeat/witness stress. For this, the number of double-labeling neurons of Fos and CRF in the BNST of defeated and witness animals will be quantified. (AU)

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