Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Neural Plasticity
Volume 2014, Article ID 163908, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/163908
Research Article

The Effects of Early-Life Predator Stress on Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors of Adult Rats

1Bio-X Institutes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Road 800, Shanghai 200240, China
2Zhiyuan College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Road 800, Shanghai 200240, China
3School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Road 800, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 25 September 2013; Revised 12 February 2014; Accepted 12 February 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Masayuki Matsushita

Copyright © 2014 Lu-jing Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Childhood emotional trauma contributes significantly to certain psychopathologies, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In experimental animals, however, whether or not early-life stress results in behavioral abnormalities in adult animals still remains controversial. Here, we investigated both short-term and long-term changes of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors of Wistar rats after being exposed to chronic feral cat stress in juvenile ages. The 2-week predator stress decreased spontaneous activities immediately following stress but did not increase depression- or anxiety-like behaviors 4 weeks after the stimulation in adulthood. Instead, juvenile predator stress had some protective effects, though not very obvious, in adulthood. We also exposed genetic depression model rats, Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, to the same predator stress. In WKY rats, the same early-life predator stress did not enhance anxiety- or depression-like behaviors in both the short-term and long-term. However, the stressed WKY rats showed slightly reduced depression-like behaviors in adulthood. These results indicate that in both normal Wistar rats and WKY rats, early-life predator stress led to protective, rather than negative, effects in adulthood.