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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 Jul-Aug;69(3-4):629-34.

Enhanced corticosterone release after a modified forced swim test in Fawn hooded rats is independent of rearing experience.

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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Laboratory of Clinical Studies, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Recent findings have demonstrated that Fawn hooded (FH/Har) rats exhibit enhanced plasma corticosterone (CORT) responses compared to Wistar rats after exposure to an open field, whereas this effect was not influenced by early social experience. In contrast, it was found that behavior in a modified version of the Porsolt Forced Swim Test (Porsolt FST) was affected by both strain and social experience. An important part of this study included modifications of the Porsolt FST that allowed separation of multiple behavioral endpoints. The present experiment was conducted to determine if FH/Har rats also exhibit enhanced CORT responses after exposure to the modified forced swim test, and whether CORT levels might predict the behavioral response in this context. After the initial exposure in the modified forced swim test FH/Har rats had higher CORT levels than Wistar rats, but this difference was not affected by isolation rearing. However, CORT levels were not correlated with the main behavioral measures assayed in this test. Nonetheless, the data confirm that FH/Har rats have altered HPA axis responses to stressors.

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