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This manuscript describes several behavioral and functional studies evaluating the capacity of ferret odors to elicit a number of acute and long-term responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Acute presentation elicits multiple responses, suggesting that ferret odor, likely from skin gland secretions, provides an anxiogenic-like stimulus in this strain of(More)
Voluntary exercise is associated with the prevention and treatment of numerous physical and psychological illnesses, yet the mechanisms by which it confers this protection remain unclear. In contrast, stress, particularly under conditions of prolonged or repeated exposure when glucocorticoid levels are consistently elevated, can have a devastating impact on(More)
Stress often negatively impacts physical and mental health but it has been suggested that voluntary physical activity may benefit health by reducing some of the effects of stress. The present experiments tested whether voluntary exercise can reduce heart rate, core body temperature and locomotor activity responses to acute (novelty or loud noise) or(More)
Accumulating evidence indicates that regular physical exercise benefits health in part by counteracting some of the negative physiological impacts of stress. While some studies identified reductions in some measures of acute stress responses with prior exercise, limited data were available concerning effects on cardiovascular function, and reported effects(More)
Exposures to predator odors are very effective methods to evoke a variety of stress responses in rodents. We have previously found that ferret odor exposure leads to changes in endocrine hormones (corticosterone and ACTH) and behavior. To distinguish the contributions of the main and accessory olfactory systems in these responses, studies were designed to(More)
Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. By contrast, stress is associated with deleterious effects on health and there is growing evidence that regular physical exercise counteracts some of the effects of stress. However, most previous studies have suggested that prior exercise does not alter the acute hypothalamic(More)
We have shown previously that unconditioned stressors inhibit neurons of the lateral/capsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEAl/c) and oval division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTov), which form part of the central extended amygdala. The current study investigated whether conditioned fear inhibits c-fos mRNA expression(More)
Stress exacerbates several physical and psychological disorders. Voluntary exercise can reduce susceptibility to many of these stress-associated disorders. In rodents, voluntary exercise can reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity in response to various stressors as well as upregulate several brain neurotrophins. An important issue(More)
Investigations of the neural pathways associated with responses to predators have implicated the medial amygdala (MeA) as an important region involved in defensive behaviors. To our knowledge, however, the involvement of the MeA in neuroendocrine responses to predator odor exposure has not been investigated. Therefore, the present study examined the effects(More)
The hippocampal formation is a highly plastic brain region that is sensitive to stress. It receives extensive noradrenergic projections, and noradrenaline is released in the hippocampus in response to stressor exposure. The hippocampus expresses particularly high levels of the alpha(1D) adrenergic receptor (ADR) and we have previously demonstrated that(More)