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Behav Neurosci. 1999 Oct;113(5):1042-8.

Activation of the immune-endocrine system with lipopolysaccharide reduces affiliative behaviors in voles.

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Department of Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2686, USA.


In Experiment 1, individually housed male meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and exhibited the expected decrease in testosterone and increase in corticosterone and interleukin-1beta concentrations 3 hr later, indicating activation of the endocrine and immune systems. In Experiment 2, LPS- and saline-injected males were tethered in a 3-chamber partner preference apparatus. The time females spent in each chamber with a male, as well as the amount of time spent in social contact, was monitored. Female prairie voles, but not meadow voles, spent more time in the chamber with saline- than with LPS-injected males. LPS-injected male prairie and meadow voles engaged in less social contact with female conspecifics than did saline-injected males. These data suggest that LPS modifies physiology and behavior in male voles and that females may use these changes to discriminate healthy from potentially infected males.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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