Christel Westenbroek

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Psychological stressors of different natures can induce different shifts of autonomic control on cardiac electrical activity, with either a sympathetic or a parasympathetic prevalence. Arrhythmia occurrence, R-R interval variability, and plasma catecholamine elevations were measured in male wild-type rats exposed to either a social stressor (defeat) or a(More)
Stress plays an important role in the development of affective disorders. Women show a higher prevalence for these disorders than men. The course of a depression is thought to be positively influenced by social support. We have used a chronic stress model in which rats received foot-shocks daily for 3 weeks. Since rats are social animals we hypothesised(More)
UNLABELLED Stress plays an important role in the development of affective disorders. Women show a higher prevalence for these disorders than men. The course of a depression is thought to be positively influenced by social support. The authors have used a chronic mild stress model in which rats received footshocks daily for 3 weeks. Since rats are social(More)
Affective disorders are common psychiatric illnesses characterized by marked gender-related prevalence. Recent evidence links chronic stress and dysregulation of neurotrophin signaling with the development of depression, while novel theories suggest that antidepressants may act by promoting intracellular adaptations linked to neuroplasticity. Although(More)
Stress plays an important role in the development of affective disorders. Women show a higher prevalence for these disorders then men. The course of a depressive episode is thought to be positively influenced by social support. We have used a chronic mild stress model in which rats received footshocks daily for 3 weeks. Since rats are social animals we(More)
Chronic stress induced neuronal changes that may have consequences for subsequent stress responses. For example, chronic stress in rats rearranges dendritic branching patterns and disturbs the phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK) 1/2 throughout the limbic system. Stress-induced psychopathology occurs more often in women, however,(More)
In this review we propose that there are sex differences in how men and women enter onto the path that can lead to addiction. Males are more likely than females to engage in risky behaviors that include experimenting with drugs of abuse, and in susceptible individuals, they are drawn into the spiral that can eventually lead to addiction. Women and girls are(More)
UNLABELLED Social support has a positive influence on the course of a depression and social housing of rats could provide an animal model for studying the neurobiological mechanisms of social support. Male and female rats were subjected to chronic footshock stress for 3 weeks and pair-housing of rats was used to mimic social support. Rats were isolated or(More)
Gender and enhanced novelty reactivity can predispose certain individuals to drug abuse. Previous research in male and female rats selectively bred for high or low locomotor reactivity to novelty found that bred High Responders (bHRs) acquire cocaine self-administration more rapidly than bred Low Responders (bLRs) and that bHR females in particular(More)
Female rats exhibit greater intake and motivation to self-administer cocaine. In females but not males, isolation by itself is a stressor, which could lead to increased drug intake. Therefore, we hypothesized that social housing would buffer against stress and reduce the motivation to self-administer cocaine primarily in females. Male and female(More)