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Social experience and sex-dependent regulation of aggression in the lateral septum by extrasynaptic δGABAA receptors.

Authors
  • Borland, Johnathan M1, 2
  • Walton, James C1, 2
  • Norvelle, Alisa1, 2
  • Grantham, Kymberly N1, 2
  • Aiani, Lauren M1, 2
  • Larkin, Tony E1, 2
  • McCann, Katharine E1, 2
  • Albers, H Elliott3, 4
  • 1 Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. , (Georgia)
  • 2 Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. , (Georgia)
  • 3 Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. [email protected] , (Georgia)
  • 4 Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. [email protected] , (Georgia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychopharmacology
Publication Date
Nov 06, 2019
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00213-019-05368-z
PMID: 31691846
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms mediating dominance and competitive aggression is essential to understanding the development and treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Previous research suggests that these mechanisms are both sexually differentiated and influenced substantially by social experience. In numerous species, GABAA receptors in the lateral septum have been shown to play a significant role in aggression in males. However, very little is known about the role of these GABAA receptors in female aggression, the role of social experience on GABAA receptor-mediated aggression, or the roles of different GABAA subtypes in regulating aggression. Thus, in the following set of experiments, we determined the role of social experience in modulating GABAA receptor-induced aggression in both male and female Syrian hamsters, with a particular focus on the GABAA receptor subtype mediating these effects. Activation of GABAA receptors in the dorsal lateral septum increased aggression in both males and females. Social housing, however, significantly decreased the ability of GABAA receptor activation to induce aggression in males but not females. No significant differences were observed in the effects of GABAA receptor activation in dominant versus subordinate group-housed hamsters. Finally, examination of potential GABAA receptor subtype specificity revealed that social housing decreased the ratio of δ extrasynaptic to γ2 synaptic subunit GABAA receptor mRNA expression in the anterior dorsal lateral septum, while activation of δ extrasynaptic, but not γ2 synaptic, GABAA receptors in the dorsal lateral septum increased aggression. These data suggest that social experience can have profound effects on the neuronal mechanisms mediating aggression, especially in males, and that δ extrasynaptic GABAA receptors may be an important therapeutic target in disorders characterized by high levels of aggression.

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