Psychogenic, neurogenic, and systemic stressor effects on plasma corticosterone and behavior: mouse strain-dependent outcomes

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


The effects of several stressors were assessed in inbred strains of mice, BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6ByJ, thought to be differentially reactive to stressors. Behavioral reactivity was greater in BALB/cByJ mice with respect to open-field emergence, step-down responding, response to a predator (rat) or to fox urine odor. Neurogenic insults (e.g., footshock, forced swim, restraint) and a systemic stressor (intraperitoneal interleukin-1beta treatment) likewise provoked a greater rise of plasma corticosterone in the BALB/cByJ mice. Psychogenic stressors (e.g., novel open-field exposure, acoustic startle stimuli) also enhanced plasma corticosterone to a greater extent in BALB/cByJ mice, but such an outcome was not apparent following predator-related cues. It appears that whereas stressor reactivity and adrenal glucocorticoid release may be exaggerated in BALB/cByJ mice, such effects may be dependent on the specific characteristic of the stressor situation.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Behavioral Neuroscience