Effects of Trauma in Adulthood and Adolescence on Fear Extinction and Extinction Retention: Advancing Animal Models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Evidence for and against adolescent vulnerability to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is mounting, but this evidence is largely qualitative, retrospective, or complicated by variation in prior stress exposure and trauma context. Here, we examine the effects of development on trauma vulnerability using adult post-natal (PN) day 61, early adolescent (PN23) and mid adolescence (PN34) rats and two types of trauma: an established animal model of PTSD, single prolonged stress (SPS), and a novel composite model-SPS predation (SPSp) version. We demonstrate that early and mid adolescent rats are capable of fear conditioning and fear extinction, as well as extinction retention. Our results also demonstrate that both types of trauma induced a deficit in the retention of fear extinction in adulthood, a hallmark of PTSD, but not after early or mid adolescence trauma, suggesting that adolescence might convey resilience to SPS and SPSp traumas. Across all three life stages, the effects of SPS exposure and a novel predation trauma model, SPSp, had similar effects on behavior suggesting that trauma type did not affect the likelihood of developing PTSD-like symptoms, and that SPSp is a predation-based trauma model worth exploring.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, C. V., Chaby, L. E., Nazeer, S., & Liberzon, I.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM