University of Cambridge > > CamBRAIN Virtual Journal Club > Stress deceleration theory: chronic adolescent stress exposure results in decelerated neurobehavioral maturation

Stress deceleration theory: chronic adolescent stress exposure results in decelerated neurobehavioral maturation

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  • UserKshitij Jadhav, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge
  • ClockWednesday 19 January 2022, 17:00-18:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Katharina Zuhlsdorff.

Normative development in adolescence indicates that the prefrontal cortex is still under development thereby unable to exert efficient top-down inhibitory control on subcortical regions such as the basolateral amygdala and the nucleus accumbens. This imbalance in the developmental trajectory between cortical and subcortical regions is implicated in expression of the prototypical impulsive, compulsive, reward seeking and risk-taking adolescent behavior. Here we demonstrate that a chronic mild unpredictable stress procedure during adolescence in male Wistar rats arrests the normal behavioral maturation such that they continue to express adolescent-like impulsive, hyperactive, and compulsive behaviors into late adulthood. This arrest in behavioral maturation is associated with the hypoexcitability of prelimbic cortex (PLC) pyramidal neurons and reduced PLC -mediated synaptic glutamatergic control of BLA and nucleus accumbens core (NAcC) neurons that lasts late into adulthood. At the same time stress exposure in adolescence results in the hyperexcitability of the BLA pyramidal neurons sending stronger glutamatergic projections to the NAcC. Chemogenetic reversal of the PLC hypoexcitability decreased compulsivity and improved the expression of goal-directed behavior in rats exposed to stress during adolescence, suggesting a causal role for PLC hypoexcitability in this stress-induced arrested behavioral development. (

This talk is part of the CamBRAIN Virtual Journal Club series.

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