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Olfactory signals mediate social buffering of conditioned fear responses in male rats

Takahashi, Yuji; Kiyokawa, Yasushi; Kodama, Yuka; Arata, Sayaka; Takeuchi, Yukari; Mori, Yuji


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    "description": "In social animals, the presence of an affiliative conspecific alleviates acute stress\nresponses, and this is called social buffering. We previously reported that social\nbuffering mitigates the fear responses of male rats to auditory conditioned stimuli that\nhad been paired with foot shocks. Subsequent studies revealed that signals that are\nperceived by the main olfactory epithelium are important for social buffering. Because\nolfactory signals are the signal perceived by the main olfactory epithelium, we\nhypothesized that we could induce the social buffering of conditioned fear responses by\npresenting olfactory signals that were derived from a conspecific. In order to test this\nhypothesis, we exposed fear-conditioned subjects to a conditioned stimulus either in a\nclean test box or in a test box that was odorized by keeping a conspecific in it as an odor\ndonor beforehand. When the subjects were tested in the clean test box, they showed\nbehavioral fear responses and enhanced Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus.\nIn contrast, the presence of conspecific olfactory signals blocked these fear responses\nand Fos expression. These results suggested that olfactory signals suppress conditioned\nfear responses. Fos expression in the posteromedial region of the olfactory peduncle and amygdala suggested that this suppression involves the same neural mechanisms as those\nof social buffering. Taken together, we concluded that olfactory signals mediate the\nsocial buffering of conditioned fear responses.", 
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    "title": "Olfactory signals mediate social buffering of conditioned fear responses in male rats", 
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