Abstract # 214:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 27 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


THE SLIPPERY SLOPE BETWEEN SOCIAL STRESS AND DEPRESSION IN ADULT FEMALE CYNOMOLGUS MONKEYS (MACACA FASCICULARIS)

C. A. Shively1 and S. L. Willard1,2
1Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology/Comparative Medicine Section , Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1040, USA, 2Integrative Neuroscience Graduate Program
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Social stress and depression have many characteristics in common. They promote each other, have adverse effects on social relationships and quality of life, and promote physiological responses that increase disease risk. However, they are not the same constructs. Among human primates, the behavior and neurobiology of stressed individuals differs from that of depressed individuals. Studies conducted in socially housed adult female Macaca fascicularis over the last 25 years suggest that socially stressed subordinates and depressed monkeys share some physiological characteristics e.g. perturbed HPA, autonomic, and ovarian function, exacerbated coronary artery atherosclerosis, and increased mortality. However, they differ in body weight, body mass index, lipid metabolism, aggression, submission, affiliation, activity level, neural serotonergic and dopaminergic function, and hippocampal volume. Furthermore, depressive behavior is more common in socially stressed subordinate monkeys, suggesting that depressed monkeys are largely made up of socially subordinate females that are preferentially susceptible to a depressive response to social stress. If so, then comparative studies of subordinates who do and do not exhibit depressive behavior may give us insight into mechanisms that support resiliency to stress, and identify new targets for therapeutic intervention. Historically, stressed animals have been used as models of depression. However, the studies reviewed here suggest that separating stress and depression in animal models is crucial to furthering understanding of each of these constructs as well as their mutual relationship.