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Animal Bioresource in Japan

.: Home > Animal Bioresource in Japan > 2013 > Volume 62 Number 3 > Hideaki Inagaki, Masayoshi Kuwahara, Hirokazu Tsubone

Effect of Post-Weaning Individual Housing on Autonomic Responses in Male Rats to Sexually Receptive Female Rats

Hideaki Inagaki, Masayoshi Kuwahara, Hirokazu Tsubone
Department of Comparative Pathophysiology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1–1–1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
Abstract :

Post-weaning individual housing induces significant alterations in the reward system of adult male rats presented with sexually receptive female rats. In this study, we examined the effects of post-weaning individual housing on autonomic nervous activity in adult male rats during encounters with sexually receptive female rats to assess whether different affective states depending on post-weaning housing conditions are produced. Changes in heart rate and spectral parameters of heart rate variability indicated that in post-weaning individually housed male rats, both sympathetic and parasympathetic activity increased with no change in the sympathovagal balance, while in post-weaning socially housed male rats, both sympathetic and parasympathetic activity decreased with a predominance of parasympathetic activity. These two patterns of shifts in sympathovagal balances closely resembled changes in autonomic nervous activity with regard to classical appetitive conditioning in male rats. The autonomic changes in male rats housed individually after weaning corresponded to changes associated with the reward-expecting state evoked by the conditioned stimulus, and the autonomic changes observed in male rats housed socially after weaning corresponded to changes associated with the reward-receiving state evoked by the unconditioned stimulus. These results suggest that different affective states were induced in adult male rats during sexual encounters depending on male-male social interactions after weaning. The remarkable change caused by post-weaning individual housing may be ascribed to alteration of the reward system during sexual encounters induced by deficiency of intermale social communication after weaning.

Keywords :
early social isolation, positive affective state, power spectral analysis of heart rate variability, social communication

Date Deposited : 06 Apr 2015 11:58

Last Modified : 06 Apr 2015 11:58

Official URL: http://

Volume 62, Number 3, - 2013

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