Behaviour 2019
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Effects of Social Isolation and Exercise on Behaviors in Single Mother-Reared Prairie Voles
Marigny C Normann, W. Tang Watanasriyakul, Sarah Ciosek, Nicole Holzapfel, Samantha Sujet, Angela J Grippo. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, United States

Early life stress has been associated with various effects on behaviors, such as in social behaviors and behaviors related to mood disorder symptoms. The prairie vole provides a unique model of development due to its social nature and bi-parental (BP) rearing. This study investigated behavioral stress reactivity in animals reared by a single mother (SM), vs. BP-reared, as a function of social isolation, and the potential buffering effects of exercise. Adaptive coping behavior (vs. a maladaptive helpless response) in the forced swim test (FST) was measured during adulthood: under basal conditions (baseline), following 2 weeks of isolation, and following 2 weeks of isolation + access to a running wheel.  SM-reared females displayed significantly lower levels of immobility (maladaptive response) in the FST at baseline vs. BP-reared females. SM-reared males displayed lower levels of immobility vs. BP-reared males following isolation + exercise. These preliminary results suggest sexually-dimorphic resiliency to stress and exercise in SM-reared prairie voles. These findings have implications for stress reactivity in adulthood based on early life conditions.