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GSE146472: Adolescent Social Isolation Reprograms the Medial Amygdala: Transcriptome and Sex Differences in Reward

Bulk RNA sequencing

Adolescence is a sensitive window for reward- and stress-associated behavior. Although stress during this period causes long-term changes in behavior in males, how females respond is relatively unknown. Here we show that social isolation stress in adolescence, but not adulthood, induces persistent but opposite effects on anxiety- and cocaine-related behaviors in male vs. female mice, and; that these effects are reflected in transcriptional profiles within the adult medial amygdala (meA). By integrating differential gene expression with co-expression network analyses, we identified crystallin mu (Crym), a thyroid hormone binding protein, as a key driver of these transcriptional profiles. Manipulation of Crym specifically within adult meA neurons recapitulates the behavioral and transcriptional effects of social isolation and re-opens a window of plasticity that is otherwise closed. Our results establish that meA is essential for sex-specific responses to stressful and rewarding stimuli through transcriptional programming that occurs during adolescence. SOURCE: Aarthi Ramakrishnan (aarthi.ramakrishnan@mssm.edu) - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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