Several lines of research on human and rodent subjects have demonstrated that early-life stress results in multiple negative outcomes, including increased incidence of psychopathologies. The current study sought to further the research on adolescent versus adult rats on anxiety-like reactions to chronic stress. The purpose of the current study was to assess whether 7 days of chronic restraint stress (20 minutes/day) results in higher anxiety-like profiles on the elevated plus maze and increased stress-induced neuroendocrine adaptations in adolescent versus adult rats. This type of research is critical for the prevention and treatment of psychopathologies stemming from early-life stress/maltreatment. There were no significant differences in anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze or between age groups on neuroendocrine measures of stress. However, non-significant trends were observed in the anticipated directions, such that adolescent stressed rats spent less time on the open arms of the elevated plus maze. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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