Advertisement

Social isolation in animal models of relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders

  • John W. Kim
    Affiliations
    Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Brian Kirkpatrick
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Brian Kirkpatrick, M.D., Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, P.O. Box 21247, Baltimore, M.D. 21228.
    Affiliations
    Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      Animal models of social isolation have been suggested to be relevant to several neuropsychiatric disorders; however, social isolation is usually not purely an alteration of social environment, as it often involves such factors as decreased complexity of the environment, loss of tactile stimulation, and increased metabolic demands of temperature maintenance. In this study, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster, a highly social rodent) were assigned to four experimental groups: continued housing with sibs, with or without nesting material; and individual housing, with or without nesting material. Isolation increased serum corticosterone and affected body weight; the presence of the nesting material lowered corticosterone but did not alter weight. There was no statistical interaction between these two factors. In animal models, factors other than specifically social variables may contribute to the physiological response to social isolation, and the various aspects of the stress response may respond differentially to these factors.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Bates A
        • Adels L
        • Lean M
        Thermal control of maternal contact bouts: The interbout interval.
        Physiol Behav. 1985; 34: 834-837
        • Brain P
        • Benton D
        The interpretation of physiological correlates of differential housing in laboratory rats.
        Life Sci. 1979; 24: 99-116
        • Carter CS
        • Gietz LL
        • Garish L
        • McDermott JL
        • Arnold P
        Male related pheromone and the activation of female reproduction in the prairie vole Microtus ochrogaster.
        Biol Reprod. 1980; 23: 1038-1045
        • Clausing P
        • Bocker T
        • Diekgerdes J
        • et al.
        Social isolation modifies the response of mice to experimental Mengo virus infection.
        J Exp Anim Sci. 1994; 36: 37-54
        • Diamond MC
        • Krech D
        • Rosenzweig MR
        The effects of an enriched environment on the histology of the rat cerebral cortex.
        J Comp Neurol. 1964; 123: 111-119
        • Ehlers CL
        • Kaneko WM
        • Owens MJ
        • Nemeroff CB
        Effects of gender and social isolation on electroencephalogram and neuroendocrine parameters in rats.
        Biol Psychiatry. 1993; 33: 358-366
        • Getz LL
        • Carter CS
        Social organization in Microtus ochrogaster populations.
        Biologist. 1980; 62: 56-69
        • Geyer MA
        • Wilkinson LS
        • Humby T
        • Robbins TW
        Isolation rearing of rats produces a deficit in prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle similar to that in schizophrenia.
        Biol Psychiatry. 1993; 34: 361-372
        • Holson RR
        • Scallet AC
        • Ali SF
        • Turner BB
        Isolation stress revisited: Isolation rearing effects depend on animal care methods.
        Physiol Behav. 1991; 49: 1107-1118
        • Iglesias T
        • Montero S
        • Otero MJ
        • Parra I
        • Fuentes JA
        Preproenkephalin RNA increases in the hypothalamus of rats stressed by social deprivation.
        Cell Mol Neurobiol. 1992; 12: 547-555
        • Jaffe EH
        • De Frias V
        • Ibarra C
        Changes in basal and stimulated release of endogenous serotonin from different nuclei of rats subjected to two models of depression.
        Neurosci Lett. 1993; 162: 157-160
        • Jesberger JA
        • Richardson JS
        Animal models of depression: parallels and correlates to severe depression in humans.
        Biol Psychiatry. 1985; 20: 764-784
        • Jessop JJ
        • Gale K
        • Bayer BM
        Enhancement of rat lymphocyte proliferation after prolonged exposure to stress.
        J Neuroimmunol. 1987; 16: 261-271
        • Jones GH
        • Marsden CA
        • Robbins TW
        Behavioural rigidity and rule-learning deficits following isolation rearing in the rat: Neurochemical correlates.
        Behav Brain Res. 1991; 43: 3550
        • Jones GH
        • Hernandez TD
        • Kendall DA
        • Marsden CA
        • Robbins TW
        Dopaminergic and serotonergic function following isolation rearing in rats: Study of behavioural responses and postmortem and in vivo neurochemistry.
        Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1992; 43: 17-35
        • Krech D
        • Rosenzweig MR
        • Bennett EL
        Environmental impoverishment, social isolation and changes in brain chemistry and anatomy.
        Physiol Behav. 1966; 1: 99-104
        • McKinney WT
        Animal models of depression: An overview.
        Psychiatr Dev. 1984; 2: 77-96
        • McKinney Jr, WT
        • Suomi SJ
        • Harlow HF
        Depression in primates.
        Am J Psychiatry. 1971; 127: 1313-1320
        • Parker LF
        • Radow BL
        Isolation stress and volitional ethanol consumption in the rat.
        Physiol Behav. 1974; 12: 1-3
        • Petkov VV
        • Konstantinova E
        • Grachovska T
        Changes in brain opiate receptors in rats with isolation syndrome.
        Pharmacol Res Comm. 1985; 17: 575-584
        • Roske I
        • Baeger I
        • Frenzel R
        • Oehme P
        Does a relationship exist between the quality of stress and the motivation to ingest alcohol?.
        Res Inst Molec Pharmacol. 1994; 11: 113-124
        • Sanchez-Toscano F
        • Sanchez HM
        • Garzon J
        Changes in the number of dendritic spines in the medial preoptic area during a premature long-term social isolation in rats.
        Neurosci Lett. 1991; 122: 1-3
        • Scalera G
        Taste preferences, body weight gain, food and fluid intake in singly or grouped-housed rats.
        Physiol Behav. 1992; 52: 935-943
        • Shapiro LE
        • Dewsbury DA
        Differences in affiliative behavior, pair bonding, and vaginal cytology in two species of vole.
        J Comp Psychology. 1990; 104: 268-274
        • Shapiro LE
        • Insel TR
        Infant's response to social separation reflects adult differences in affiliative behavior: A comparative developmental study in prairie and montane voles.
        Dev Psychiobiol. 1990; 23: 375-393
        • Stanton ME
        • Gutierrez YR
        • Levine S
        Maternal deprivation potentiates pituitary-adrenal stress responses in infant rats.
        Behav Neurosci. 1988; 102: 692-700
        • Suomi SJ
        • Harlow HF
        • McKinney Jr, WT
        Monkey psychiatrists.
        Am J Psychiatry. 1972; 128: 927-932
        • Suomi SJ
        • Seaman SF
        • Lewis JK
        • Delizio RD
        • McKinney Jr, WT
        Effects of imipramine treatment of separation-induced social disorders in rhesus monkeys.
        Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978; 35: 321-325
        • Wallace CS
        • Kilman VL
        • Witners GS
        • Greenough WT
        Increases in dendritic length in occipital cortex after 4 days of differential housing in weanling rats.
        Behav Neural Biol. 1992; 58: 64-68
        • Wilkinson LS
        • Killcross SS
        • Humby T
        • et al.
        Social isolation in the rat produces developmentally specific deficits in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response without disrupting latent inhibition.
        Neuropsychopharmacology. 1994; 10: 61-72
        • Williams JR
        • Catania KC
        • Carter CS
        Development of partner preferences in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster): The role of social and sexual experience.
        Horm Behav. 1992; 26: 339-349