1. Neuroscience
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Social dominance mediates behavioral adaptation to chronic stress in a sex-specific manner

  1. Stoyo Karamihalev
  2. Elena Brivio
  3. Cornelia Flachskamm
  4. Rainer Stoffel
  5. Mathias V Schmidt
  6. Alon Chen  Is a corresponding author
  1. Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany
  2. Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e58723 doi: 10.7554/eLife.58723

Abstract

Sex differences and social context independently contribute to the development of stress-related disorders. However, less is known about how their interplay might influence behavior and physiology. Here we focused on social hierarchy status, a major component of the social environment in mice, and whether it influences the behavioral adaptation to chronic stress in a sex-specific manner. We used a high-throughput automated behavioral monitoring system to assess social dominance in same-sex group-living mice. We found that position in the social hierarchy at baseline was a significant predictor of multiple behavioral outcomes following exposure to chronic stress. Crucially, this association carried opposite consequences for the two sexes. This work demonstrates the importance of recognizing the interplay between sex and social factors and enhances our understating of how individual differences shape the stress response.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Stoyo Karamihalev

    Department of Stress Neurobiology and Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Elena Brivio

    Department of Stress Neurobiology and Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6213-0973
  3. Cornelia Flachskamm

    Department of Stress Neurobiology and Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Rainer Stoffel

    Department of Stress Neurobiology and Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Mathias V Schmidt

    Department of Stress Neurobiology and Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3788-2268
  6. Alon Chen

    Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
    For correspondence
    Alon.Chen@weizmann.ac.il
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3625-8233

Funding

H2020 European Research Council (260463)

  • Alon Chen

Israel Science Foundation (1565/15 and 1916/12)

  • Alon Chen

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (01KU1501A)

  • Alon Chen

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (Open-access funding)

  • Alon Chen

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All experiments were approved by and conducted in accordance with the regulations of the local Animal Care and Use Committee (Government of Upper Bavaria, Munich, Germany), under licenses Az.: 55.2-1-54-2532-148-2012, Az.:55.2-1-54-2532-32-2016 and ROB-55.2-2532.Vet_02-18-50.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Matthew N Hill, University of Calgary, Canada

Publication history

  1. Received: May 8, 2020
  2. Accepted: October 8, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 9, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: November 20, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Karamihalev et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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