Neural mechanisms of predatory aggression in rats-Implications for abnormal intraspecific aggression

Aron Tulogdi, Laszlo Biro, Beata Barsvari, Mona Stankovic, J. Haller, M. Tóth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our recent studies showed that brain areas that are activated in a model of escalated aggression overlap with those that promote predatory aggression in cats. This finding raised the interesting possibility that the brain mechanisms that control certain types of abnormal aggression include those involved in predation. However, the mechanisms of predatory aggression are poorly known in rats, a species that is in many respects different from cats. To get more insights into such mechanisms, here we studied the brain activation patterns associated with spontaneous muricide in rats. Subjects not exposed to mice, and those which did not show muricide were used as controls. We found that muricide increased the activation of the central and basolateral amygdala, and lateral hypothalamus as compared to both controls; in addition, a ventral shift in periaqueductal gray activation was observed. Interestingly, these are the brain regions from where predatory aggression can be elicited, or enhanced by electrical stimulation in cats. The analysis of more than 10 other brain regions showed that brain areas that inhibited (or were neutral to) cat predatory aggression were not affected by muricide. Brain activation patterns partly overlapped with those seen earlier in the cockroach hunting model of rat predatory aggression, and were highly similar with those observed in the glucocorticoid dysfunction model of escalated aggression. These findings show that the brain mechanisms underlying predation are evolutionarily conservative, and indirectly support our earlier assumption regarding the involvement of predation-related brain mechanisms in certain forms of escalated social aggression in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume283
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 5 2015

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Aggression
Brain
Cats
Lateral Hypothalamic Area
Periaqueductal Gray
Cockroaches
Glucocorticoids
Electric Stimulation

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Amygdala
  • C-Fos immunohistochemistry
  • Hypothalamus
  • Muricide
  • Periaqueductal gray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Neural mechanisms of predatory aggression in rats-Implications for abnormal intraspecific aggression. / Tulogdi, Aron; Biro, Laszlo; Barsvari, Beata; Stankovic, Mona; Haller, J.; Tóth, M.

In: Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 283, 05.04.2015, p. 108-115.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tulogdi, Aron ; Biro, Laszlo ; Barsvari, Beata ; Stankovic, Mona ; Haller, J. ; Tóth, M. / Neural mechanisms of predatory aggression in rats-Implications for abnormal intraspecific aggression. In: Behavioural Brain Research. 2015 ; Vol. 283. pp. 108-115.
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