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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 16;9(4):e94657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094657. eCollection 2014.

Control of intermale aggression by medial prefrontal cortex activation in the mouse.

Author information

1
Mouse Genomics Resource Laboratory, National Institute of Genetics (NIG), Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan; Department of Genetics, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan.
2
Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan; Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan.
3
Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan.

Abstract

Aggressive behavior is widely observed throughout the animal kingdom because of its adaptiveness for social animals. However, when aggressive behavior exceeds the species-typical level, it is no longer adaptive, so there should be a mechanism to control excessive aggression to keep it within the adaptive range. Using optogenetics, we demonstrate that activation of excitatory neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but not the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), inhibits inter-male aggression in mice. At the same time, optogenetic silencing of mPFC neurons causes an escalation of aggressive behavior both quantitatively and qualitatively. Activation of the mPFC suppresses aggressive bursts and reduces the intensity of aggressive behavior, but does not change the duration of the aggressive bursts. Our findings suggest that mPFC activity has an inhibitory role in the initiation and execution, but not the termination, of aggressive behavior, and maintains such behavior within the adaptive range.

PMID:
24740241
PMCID:
PMC3989250
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0094657
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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