Patterns of violent aggression-induced brain c-fos expression in male mice selected for aggressiveness

J Haller*, M Toth, J Halasz, SF De Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Mice selected for aggressiveness (long and short attack latency mice; LALs and SALs, respectively) constitute a useful tool in studying the neural background of aggressive behavior, especially so as the SAL strain shows violent forms of aggressiveness that appear abnormal in many respects. By using e-Fos staining as a marker of neuronal activation, we show here that agonistic encounters result in different activation patterns in LAL and SAL mice. In LALs, agonistic encounters activated the lateral septum, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, medial amygdala, paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, anterior' hypothalamic nucleus and tuber cinereum area (both being analogous with the rat hypothalamic attack area), dorsolateral periaqueductal gray, and locus coeruleus. This pattern is similar with that seen in the territorial aggression of male mice, rats and hamsters, and non-lactating female mice. SALs showed strong fight-induced activations in the central amygdala and lateral/ ventrolateral periaqueductal gray. In this strain, no activation was seen in the lateral septum and the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray. This pattern is similar with that seen in other models of violent aggression, e.g., in attacks induced by hypothalamic stimulation in rats, quiet biting in cats, lactating female mice, and hypoarousal-driven abnormal aggression in rats. We suggest here that the excessive activation of the central amygdala and lateral/ventrolateral periaqueductal gray-accompanied by a smaller activation of the septum and dorsolateral periaqueductal gray-underlay the expression of violent attacks under various circumstances. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume88
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-Jun-2006

Keywords

  • mice
  • aggression
  • SAL
  • LAL
  • c-fos
  • brain
  • OPPOSITIONAL-DEFIANT DISORDER
  • INDUCED ABNORMAL AGGRESSION
  • FRONTAL-LOBE DYSFUNCTION
  • ATTACK-LATENCY MICE
  • WILD HOUSE MICE
  • SALIVARY CORTISOL
  • MALE-RATS
  • BEHAVIORAL SENSITIZATION
  • ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
  • SENSORY CONTACT

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