Introduction: Ventral tegmental area is a region in reward circuit that influences addictive behaviors. Oxidative stress status is an important regulator of neuronal function. The aim of this study is to show that sociality can influence ventral tegmental area (VTA) function through modulation of oxidative stress status. Methods and materials: In this study 21 male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200-250 g were randomly divided into two groups: social and isolation. After 14 days of isolation and sociality rats were examined for salt solution consumption, sucrose intake, and novelty seeking behavior. Then rats were anesthetized and sacrificed for assessing oxidative stress (OS) indices for glutathione and nitrite/nitrate. Iron in serum was assessed with atomic spectroscopy. Results: Glutathione and nitrite/nitrate were increased in isolated rats compared to social rats. Also, novelty seeking behavior, consumption of salt solution and sucrose were increased in isolated rats compared to social rats. Iron was reduced in isolated rats compared to social rats. Conclusion: In isolation markers of oxidative stress indices in VTA for glutathione and nitrite/nitrate were increased along with bad prognosis in behavioral tests. Thus it seems isolation increases tendency for drugs and glutathione and nitrite/nitrate were increased to neutralize the harmful behaviors.
Hamidreza Famitafreshi, Morteza Karimian