Isolation rearing significantly perturbs brain metabolism in the thalamus and hippocampus

A. A. Bonab, J. G. Fricchione, S. Gorantla, A. G. Vitalo, M. E. Auster, S. J. Levine, J. M. Scichilone, M. Hegde, W. Foote, G. L. Fricchione, J. W. Denninger, D. M. Yarmush, A. J. Fischman, M. L. Yarmush, J. B. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Psychosocial neglect during childhood severely impairs both behavioral and physical health. The isolation rearing model in rodents has been employed by our group and others to study this clinical problem at a basic level. We previously showed that immediate early gene (IEG) expression in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is decreased in isolation-reared (IR) compared to group-reared (GR) rats. In the current study, we sought to evaluate: (1) whether these changes in IEG expression would be detected by the measurement of brain glucose metabolism using positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and (2) whether PET FDG could illuminate other brain regions with different glucose metabolism in IR compared to GR rats. We found that there were significant differences in FDG uptake in the hippocampus that were consistent with our findings for IEG expression (decreased mean FDG uptake in IR rats). In contrast, in the mPFC, the FDG uptake between IR and GR rats did not differ. Finally, we found decreased mean FDG uptake in the thalamus of the IR rats, a region we had not previously examined. The results suggest that PET FDG has the potential to be utilized as a biomarker of molecular changes in the hippocampus. Further, the differences found in thalamic brain FDG uptake suggest that further investigation of this region at the molecular and cellular levels may provide an important insight into the neurobiological basis of the adverse clinical outcomes found in children exposed to psychosocial deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 25 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Biomarker
  • Brain
  • Childhood adversity
  • FDG
  • IEG
  • Isolation rearing
  • PET
  • Stress


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