Inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment

Elizabeth J. Crofton, Yafang Zhang, Thomas Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One hallmark of psychiatric conditions is the vast continuum of individual differences in susceptibility vs. resilience resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental enrichment paradigm is an animal model that is useful for studying a range of psychiatric conditions, including protective phenotypes in addiction and depression models. The major question is how environmental enrichment, a non-drug and non-surgical manipulation, can produce such robust individual differences in such a wide range of behaviors. This paper draws from a variety of published sources to outline a coherent hypothesis of inoculation stress as a factor producing the protective enrichment phenotypes. The basic tenet suggests that chronic mild stress from living in a complex environment and interacting non-aggressively with conspecifics can inoculate enriched rats against subsequent stressors and/or drugs of abuse. This paper reviews the enrichment phenotypes, mulls the fundamental nature of environmental enrichment vs. isolation, discusses the most appropriate control for environmental enrichment, and challenges the idea that cortisol/corticosterone equals stress. The intent of the inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment is to provide a scaffold with which to build testable hypotheses for the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying these protective phenotypes and thus provide new therapeutic targets to treat psychiatric/neurological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Fingerprint

Psychiatry
Phenotype
Individuality
Street Drugs
Corticosterone
Hydrocortisone
Animal Models
Depression
Therapeutics
Protective Factors

Keywords

  • Corticosterone
  • Drug addiction
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Inoculation stress
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment. / Crofton, Elizabeth J.; Zhang, Yafang; Green, Thomas.

In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 49, 01.02.2015, p. 19-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crofton, Elizabeth J. ; Zhang, Yafang ; Green, Thomas. / Inoculation stress hypothesis of environmental enrichment. In: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2015 ; Vol. 49. pp. 19-31.
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