Effects of Social Isolation on Perineuronal Nets in the Amygdala Following a Reward Omission Task in Female Rats

Dolores B. Vazquez-Sanroman, G. Arlington Wilson, M. T. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Negative urgency is a facet of impulsivity associated with negative affect and risky behavior that may involve the amygdala. The current study determined if social isolation during development alters negative urgency and c-Fos activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Female Sprague-Dawley rats were raised in an isolated condition (IC), a standard social condition (SC), or an enriched condition (EC) and then were tested for locomotor activity, novelty place preference, and negative urgency using a reward omission task. Following performance on the reward omission task, the brains were analyzed for c-Fos expression in Ca2+/calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) and calbindin (CB) neurons, as well as in parvalbumin (PV) neurons associated with perineuronal nets (PNNs) in BLA. IC rats exhibited enhanced locomotion compared with both SC and EC rats, as well as enhanced novelty place preference compared with EC rats; only IC rats showed increased responding following omission of an expected reward (negative urgency). Following completion of the reward omission task, IC rats also displayed increased percent of c-Fos neurons in BLA associated with CaMKII, CB, and PV neurons compared with SC and EC rats. In IC rats, c-Fos activation in BLA occurred following the omission of an expected reward. Finally, IC rats displayed reduced PNN intensity associated with PV neurons compared with EC rats, but the percent of these neurons co-expressing c-Fos was greater in IC rats; SC rats were intermediate between IC and EC rats. Negative urgency was observed in IC rats, but not SC or EC rats. While multiple mechanisms are likely involved, this behavioral effect was associated with an isolation-induced increase in activity of excitatory neurons in BLA, as well as decreased PNN intensity surrounding GABAergic neurons in the same region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-361
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Basolateral amygdala
  • C-Fos
  • Negative urgency
  • Perineuronal nets
  • Reward omission task
  • Social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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