Tuesday, September 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Anti-social mice could give clues to depression

By
March 1, 2011 |

UC Davis researchers are studying mouse behavior. BigStock photo

For the first time, UC Davis psychology researchers have been able to produce a “social withdrawal” syndrome in female rodents — a development that could yield new insights into the physical basis of human mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, which are twice as common among women than men.

“Social withdrawal is a common feature of mood disorders,” said Brian Trainor, an assistant professor of psychology.

Trainor and his colleagues discovered that female California mice showed signs of social withdrawal after a series of encounters with a stronger, more aggressive mouse.

When the team examined the brains of these mice, they found changes in an area called the nucleus accumbens, which is associated with motivation and reward. The changes might help to explain why the mice became socially withdrawn, and could lead to new avenues of research on depression in humans, Trainor said.

The research was published Feb. 25 in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

Animal models are needed to understand the physiological basis of mood disorders, Trainor said. Although an animal cannot be diagnosed as “depressed,” researchers can look for changes in behavior comparable to signs of human depression.

In humans, stressful life experiences can trigger depression. To reproduce this in mice, other researchers have used a “social defeat” model. A mouse is paired for a short time with a stronger, aggressive mouse. After several such encounters in a row, the weaker mouse can become withdrawn.

But this method has a flaw: It does not work well for female domestic mice, which are less aggressive than males.

Psychologists and neuroscientists want to understand the differences between males and females in this area, because female humans are more vulnerable to depression than males, Trainor said.

Trainor and his colleagues used lab-bred female California mice. In the wild, both male and female California mice are territorial and may fight with other male or female mice that enter their territory.

They found that after just three social defeats, female mice, but not males, would become withdrawn for up to four weeks.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

– UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
Davis is not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Sword-attack suspect awaiting trial in Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
6 militants killed in U.S. strike in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

San Francisco is first to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

 
International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

 
Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

 
Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7