The physiological effects of a psychosocial threat (the mere presence of a potentially antagonist individual in the home cage) were studied in aggressive and nonaggressive rats. Aggressive animals spent a significantly longer time with the investigation of the opponent compared with the nonaggressive group. An increase in plasma epinephrine and corticosterone was noticed both in aggressive and nonaggressive animals. Irβ-endorphin increased significantly only in nonfighters. Glycemia was slightly larger in nonaggressives, while lactaemia increased in both groups. The possibility is discusse that differences in psychosocial stress response may be involved in regulation of behavior in a real encounter. © 1994.
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