Juvenile stress induces a predisposition to either anxiety or depressive-like symptoms following stress in adulthood Academic Article uri icon


  • Epidemiological studies indicate that childhood trauma is predominantly associated with later emergence of several stress-related psychopathologies. While most ‘early-stress’ animal models focus on pre-weaning exposure, we examined the consequences of exposure to stress during the early pre-pubertal period, “juvenile stress”, on adulthood stress responses. Following two different juvenile stress protocols, predator scent or short-term variable stress, we examined adulthood stress responses using the elevated plus-maze and startle response or exploration and avoidance learning. Employing Cut-off Behavioral Criteria analyses of clustering symptoms on the rats' altered stress responses discriminated between different patterns of maladaptive behaviors. Exposure to either juvenile stress protocols resulted in lasting alteration of stress responses with the majority of rats exhibiting anxiety-like behaviors, while the remaining third displayed depressive-like behaviors. The results suggest that the presented “Juvenile stress” model may be relevant to the reported predisposition to develop both anxiety and depression following childhood trauma.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007