Adolescent social stress can severely impact appropriate adult social behavior. To further understand the relationship between early life social stress and adult social behavior, our lab utilized a mouse model involving mild social stress in adolescence. Periadolescent (P30) male mice were subjected to repeated aggressive social encounters, followed by tests for social interaction. When periadolescent mice are tested 24 hours after social defeat, defeated mice interact similar to non-defeated controls. However, when the same mice are tested again in adulthood, some display social avoidance, whereas others display normal social interaction comparable to non-defeated controls. Our lab previously identified that increased endogenous corticosterone secretion is correlated with normal social behavior in adulthood and that exogenous corticosterone administration ameliorates the effects of periadolescent social defeat on adult social behavior. Additionally, traumatic experiences during adolescence can lead to increased susceptibility to drug use disorders in adulthood. Therefore, current experiments aim to determine the effect of adolescent social defeat on morphine conditioned place preference in adulthood. Preliminary data suggests that defeated adolescent mice show an increased propensity for morphine place preference in adulthood. However, corticosterone administration after adolescent defeat blocked conditioning to morphine place preference. This effect could be due to interactions between glucocorticoids and the opioid system. Exogenous administration of corticosterone in adolescence could differentially regulate opioid receptors to block the euphoric effects of morphine. Taken together, these data demonstrate novel and enduring positive effects of adolescent corticosterone administration on adult social behavior and drug seeking.
Dr. Aaron Jasnow
Our lab utilized a mouse model of periadolescent social defeat (P30). When mice are tested for social interaction 24 hours after defeat, all mice display normal social interaction. When the same mice are tested in adulthood (P62), some display social avoidance, whereas others display normal social interaction. Our lab previously identified that adolescent corticosterone administration promotes normal social behavior in adulthood. Furthermore, preliminary data shows that adolescent social defeat causes an increased propensity for drug seeking in adult morphine conditioned place preference. However, corticosterone administration following adolescent defeat protects against adult drug seeking behavior. Taken together, these data demonstrate enduring, positive effects of adolescent corticosterone administration on adult social behavior and drug seeking.