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Genetika. 1986 Mar;22(3):500-6.

[Genetical aspects of hormonal modification of the stress reactivity. II. Modification in early ontogenesis of the stress reactivity of adult gray rats selected for behavior toward man].

[Article in Russian]


Inherited and modificational changes of the stress reactivity in two outbreed stocks of wild Norway rats trapped in nature and selected for behaviour were studied. During 18 generations the rats of one stock were selected for the lack of defensive behaviour in the glove test (tame), while in another stock the aggressiveness was maintained by the selection (aggressive). Interstock differences in the brain noradrenaline mechanisms were observed. The emotional stress reactivity of the tame animals was decreased, in comparison with the aggressive ones. Definitive stress reactivity of adult rats was modified by injections of hydrocortisone to their mothers on the 16 and 18 days of gestation. Hormonal treatment changed noradrenaline mechanisms and decreased the reaction to emotional stressor in aggressive rats. The modified level of the stress reactivity of aggressive rats was similar to the definitive level of the tame ones. Hormonal treatment did not modify stress reactivity in tame rats. Thus, the phenotype only emerging in aggressive rats, as a result of hormonal modification, is the inherited norm of the tame animals. However, due to rat selection for the lack of defensive behaviour towards the man, high corticosteroid level in the blood of pregnant females, an external developmental factor, in respect to the fetus, loses regulatory function during the development of the neuroendocrine mechanisms of the stress reaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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