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Physiol Behav. 2006 Jan 30;87(1):114-9. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

Peripheral triiodothyronine (T(3)) levels during escapable and inescapable footshock.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Program of Neuroscience, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA. Dana_Helmreich@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

Changes in peripheral thyroid hormone levels are associated with changes in human affective disorders, particularly depression. In the current study we used an animal stress paradigm, proposed to be an animal model of depression, to examine peripheral T(3) levels during and after escapable or inescapable stress in adult male rats. In this model, one animal can control the termination of foot-shock stress by performing a lever press, and therefore experiences escapable stress. His lever press also terminates the shock for his yoked partner, who has no control over the stressor, and therefore experiences inescapable stress. In three separate experiments, blood samples were collected during and after one or two sessions of escapable/inescapable stress. We found that exposure to inescapable stress, but not escapable stress, caused a decrease in T(3) levels 120 min post-stress initiation. Peripheral T(3) levels were not significantly altered in animals exposed to escapable stress. In sum, these results add to a large body of previous data indicating that psychological coping can prevent the effects of physical stress on many diverse systems.

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