Next Article in Journal
Changes in Retinal OCT and Their Correlations with Neurological Disability in Early ALS Patients, a Follow-Up Study
Previous Article in Journal
Semi-Automatic Signature-Based Segmentation Method for Quantification of Neuromelanin in Substantia Nigra
Previous Article in Special Issue
Cognitive Mediators of School-Related Socio-Adaptive Behaviors in ASD and Intellectual Disability Pre- and Adolescents: A Pilot-Study in French Special Education Classrooms
Open AccessArticle

A Novel Neighbor Housing Environment Enhances Social Interaction and Rescues Cognitive Deficits from Social Isolation in Adolescence

1
VCU-Alcohol Research Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0613, USA
2
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0613, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(12), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9120336
Received: 25 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 22 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adolescent Cognitive Development Across Contexts)
Adolescence is characterized by high levels of playful social interaction, cognitive development, and increased risk-taking behavior. Juvenile exposure to social isolation or social stress can reduce myelin content in the frontal cortex, alter neuronal excitability, and disrupt hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function. As compared to group housed animals, social isolation increases anxiety-like phenotypes and reduces social and cognitive performance in adulthood. We designed a neighbor housing environment to alleviate issues related to social isolation that still allowed individual homecages. Neighbor housing consists of four standard mouse cages fused together with semi-permeable ports that allow visual, olfactory, and limited social contact between mice. Adolescent C57BL/6J males and females were group housed (4/cage), single housed (1/cage), or neighbor housed (4/complex). As adults, mice were tested for social, anxiety-like, and cognitive behaviors. Living in this neighbor environment reduced anxiety-like behavior in the social interaction task and in the light-dark task. It also rescued cognitive deficits from single housing in the novel object recognition task. These data suggest that neighbor housing may partially ameliorate the social anxiety and cognitive deficits induced by social isolation. These neighbor cage environments may serve as a conduit by which researchers can house mice in individual cages while still enabling limited social interactions to better model typical adolescent development. View Full-Text
Keywords: social isolation; adolescence; recognition memory; anxiety-like behavior; social interaction social isolation; adolescence; recognition memory; anxiety-like behavior; social interaction
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Pais, A.B.; Pais, A.C.; Elmisurati, G.; Park, S.H.; Miles, M.F.; Wolstenholme, J.T. A Novel Neighbor Housing Environment Enhances Social Interaction and Rescues Cognitive Deficits from Social Isolation in Adolescence. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 336.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop