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Rev Esp Fisiol. 1988 Sep;44(3):315-21.

Effects of social isolation and crowding upon adrenocortical reactivity and behavior in the rat.

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Departamento de Biología Animal II (Fisiología Animal), Facultad de C. Biológicas, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.


The effects of social isolation and crowding on adrenocortical function and upon behavioral responsiveness to electric shock have been studied in male and female rats. All female experimental groups showed higher corticosterone levels and heavier adrenals than their male counterparts. The major effect of housing condition concerned the corticosterone response to stress, while basal hormone concentration was not modified. Socially housed rats showed a more intense adrenocortical response and also a greater behavioral reactivity to electric shock than the isolates.

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