Rearing conditions alter social reactivity and D1 dopamine receptors in high- and low-aggressive mice

Jean Louis Gariépy, Paul L. Gendreau, Richard Mailman, Manuel Tancer, Mark H. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


As a result of selective breeding, NC900 mice exhibit isolation-induced attacks in a social interaction test, whereas NC100 mice do not attack but freeze instead. Administration of the D1 receptor agonist dihydrexidine was previously shown to reduce aggression in NC900 mice and nonagonistic approaches in NC100 mice. This resulted from induction of a marked social reactivity in both selected lines. Because isolation rearing also induces social reactivity, the present experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that D1 dopamine receptors mediate isolation-induced social reactivity. Isolation was expected to potentiate the effects of a D1 agonist and to increase D1 dopamine receptor density. Thus, isolated and groupreared mice were administered dihydrexidine, and their social behavior was compared to vehicle-injected controls. Dihydrexidine induced higher levels of reactivity among isolated than among group-reared animals, especially in NC900 mice. In independent experiments, increased densities of D1 dopamine receptors in the striatum of isolated animals were found, with no change in affinity. These studies suggest an important role for the D1 dopamine receptor as a mediator of isolation-induced social reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-773
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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