Individual variability in behavior and functional networks predicts vulnerability using an animal model of PTSD

David Dopfel, Pablo D. Perez, Alexander Verbitsky, Hector Bravo-Rivera, Yuncong Ma, Gregory J. Quirk, Nanyin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Only a minority of individuals experiencing trauma subsequently develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, whether differences in vulnerability to PTSD result from a predisposition or trauma exposure remains unclear. A major challenge in differentiating these possibilities is that clinical studies focus on individuals already exposed to trauma without pre-trauma conditions. Here, using the predator scent model of PTSD in rats and a longitudinal design, we measure pre-trauma brain-wide neural circuit functional connectivity, behavioral and corticosterone responses to trauma exposure, and post-trauma anxiety. Freezing during predator scent exposure correlates with functional connectivity in a set of neural circuits, indicating pre-existing circuit function can predispose animals to differential fearful responses to threats. Counterintuitively, rats with lower freezing show more avoidance of the predator scent, a prolonged corticosterone response, and higher anxiety long after exposure. This study provides a framework of pre-existing circuit function that determines threat responses, which might directly relate to PTSD-like behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2372
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Fingerprint

animal models
vulnerability
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
predators
Animals
Animal Models
anxiety
disorders
Networks (circuits)
Wounds and Injuries
Corticosterone
Freezing
freezing
rats
Rats
avoidance
minorities
Anxiety
brain
animals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Dopfel, David ; Perez, Pablo D. ; Verbitsky, Alexander ; Bravo-Rivera, Hector ; Ma, Yuncong ; Quirk, Gregory J. ; Zhang, Nanyin. / Individual variability in behavior and functional networks predicts vulnerability using an animal model of PTSD. In: Nature communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 1.
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Individual variability in behavior and functional networks predicts vulnerability using an animal model of PTSD. / Dopfel, David; Perez, Pablo D.; Verbitsky, Alexander; Bravo-Rivera, Hector; Ma, Yuncong; Quirk, Gregory J.; Zhang, Nanyin.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2372, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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