Social Reintroduction on Social Isolation: Reversal of Neuropathology Developed in 129s1 Mice


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Social isolation has devastating effects on the brain. The damage inflicted becomes further heightened in populations with conditions that are, in and of themselves, isolating - such as Alzheimer’s disease. We see an uptick in social isolation of adolescence as well with the rise of technology. As such, it is imperative that we seek out possible healing mechanisms like social reintroduction to heal the damage caused by being socially isolated. Previous research has indicated that reintroduction into a social population has the ability to reverse brain damage associated with isolation. This study evaluates nesting and burrowing behaviors, levels of BDNF, TNF-α, GFAP, and Iba-1, as well as cell and white matter density in isolated and group housed mice as the first part to a larger experiment. No statistically significant results were found for nesting and burrowing analyses or for histological analyses. Western blotting yielded one statistically significant main effect of housing condition on adjusted relative density scores of Iba-1 (p = .017 ) which suggested that strain of mouse may be an important factor to consider. The latter part of this experiment will include a reintroduced group in addition to the isolated and group housed conditions to evaluate changes to initial brain damage derived from social isolation. Future evaluation may consider evaluating these parameters across multiple strains of mice.