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Tail skin temperatures reflect coping styles in rats
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine.
2009 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 96, no 2, 374-82 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study was carried out to elucidate the predictive value of tail skin temperatures (TSTs) assessed in naïve rats as a non-invasive pre-experimental method of classification of coping style. Male Lewis rats were classified according to tail skin temperatures (TST), and relative size within cage-groups. TSTs were monitored over two-hour periods following exposure to physical and emotional stressors. Bodyweight-shifts associated to the experiments were analysed. Six organs of neuroendocrine relevance to allostasis were weighed. Challenge-specific TST-profiles were size-related and consistent with proactive or reactive coping. Pro-active (A) rats showed a more pronounced TST-response to unknown conspecifics, but reactive (B) rats to environmental novelties. B-rats showed challenge-specific weight-losses while A-rats gained more after experiments. Second size males showed rapidly decreased TSTs (vasoconstriction) after nociceptive stimulation. Males that showed the highest basal TSTs and weight-loss in emotionality tests had lost a first rank position during a pre-experimental period, suggesting long-lasting effects of social defeat. Pre-experimental growth correlated positively to adiposisity post-experimentally, but negatively to testes relative weight in B-rats. Scaling effects explained heart-size in B-rats and pituitary-size in A-rats. The overall patterns that emerged, in factor analyses including organ sizes, were consistent with pro-active coping in A-rats and reactive in B-rats. Our results, controlling for rank-effects, suggest that non-invasively assessed TSTs may predict individual stress-coping phenotypes pre-experimentally in rats housed in groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 96, no 2, 374-82 p.
Keyword [en]
Adrenals, Epididymal adipose tissue, Group-housing, Growth, Heart, Lewis male rats, Non-invasive assessments, Pituitaries, Tail skin temperature, Social rank, Spleen, Stress coping styles, Testes, Visceral adipose tissue
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100348DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.11.003PubMedID: 19041659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-100348DiVA: diva2:210137
Available from: 2009-03-31 Created: 2009-03-31 Last updated: 2013-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Ågren, GretaThiblin, Ingemar
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