Central monoamine activity in genetically distinct strains of mice following a psychogenic stressor: effects of predator exposure

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


The effects of psychogenic stressors, rat exposure and fox urine odor, on central monoamine functioning was assessed in two inbred strains of mice, BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6ByJ, thought to be differentially reactive to stressors. These stressors markedly increased NE utilization, as reflected by MHPG accumulation, in the locus coeruleus, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and central amygdala. Likewise, the 5-HT metabolite, 5-HIAA, was elevated in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and central amygdala, and to some extent DOPAC accumulation was increased in the prefrontal cortex. In most brain regions, the neurochemical effects of the stressors were comparable in the two mouse strains. However, central amygdala 5-HIAA elevations as well as DOPAC increases in the prefrontal cortex elicited by fox odor were greater in C57BL/6ByJ than in BALB/cByJ mice. Although BALB/cByJ mice are more behaviorally reactive than C57BL/6ByJ mice, and also show greater corticosterone elevations in response to neurogenic and systemic stressors, it was previously shown that differential corticosterone changes were not elicited by a predator exposure. Taken together with earlier findings, it appears that despite greater behavioral reactivity/anxiety, the strain-specific neurochemical changes elicited may be situation-specific such that the profile apparent in response to neurogenic and systemic stressors may not be evident in response to predator-related threats.


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

Publication (Name of Journal)

Brain Research