Scientists get $3.2 million to study brain mechanisms underlying sex differences in social stress

July 21, 2016

The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) at Georgia State University has received a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms underlying social stress in males and females.

Elliott Albers from the CBN and Mark Wilson from Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center hope to define the differences in how brain mechanisms promote resilience to social stress in males and females. Specifically, they will investigate how two chemicals in the brain--vasopressin and serotonin--act to alter the responsivity to social stress.

Using hamsters and rhesus monkeys, the project will test the hypothesis that phenotypes characterized by dominance and active coping strategies are more resilient to stress than those characterized by subordinate status.

"We are excited by the potential of this innovative research to both define the basic brain mechanisms involved in regulating the expression of social behavior and to have a substantial translational impact by defining gender-specific strategies for promoting stress resilience in the development of treatments for psychiatric disorders, such as PTSD," said Albers, CBN director and Regents Professor of Neuroscience. "Our studies have the potential to have an almost immediate clinical impact by guiding different drug treatments for stress reduction in men and women as well as by guiding drug development."

"This project holds the promise of identifying sex differences in mechanisms responsible for resilience to social stressors that have tremendous translational value to identify interventional strategies to reduce the health burden chronic stress causes people," said Wilson, professor of developmental and cognitive neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine."
-end-


Georgia State University

Related Stress Articles from Brightsurf:

Stress-free gel
Researchers at The University of Tokyo studied a new mechanism of gelation using colloidal particles.

Early life stress is associated with youth-onset depression for some types of stress but not others
Examining the association between eight different types of early life stress (ELS) and youth-onset depression, a study in JAACAP, published by Elsevier, reports that individuals exposed to ELS were more likely to develop a major depressive disorder (MDD) in childhood or adolescence than individuals who had not been exposed to ELS.

Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress.

How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS

How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.

Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.

Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.

Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.

Read More: Stress News and Stress Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.