Further Characterization of the Behavioral Effects of Peripherally Administered Corticotropin-Releasing Factor in Guinea Pigs

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Guinea pig pups were either not injected (NI) or given SC injection of either saline vehicle (SAL) or 14 μg of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). In an isolation test, mean number of vocalizations and several measures of locomotor activity were markedly lower for CRF pups than for NI or SAL controls. CRF pups defecated less than did SAL pups. No differences were found among conditions for self-grooming. Behavioral freezing was shown by only two pups in the entire study. Significantly more CRF pups displayed piloerection, eye-closing, and a characteristic crouched stance than did controls. In a defensive withdrawal test, no differences among conditions were found for the proportion of pups entering a darkened chamber or for the latency to enter the chamber; however, CRF pups entered the chamber significantly fewer times during the 60-min test than did controls. There were no differences among conditions in the distance swum or number of turns made in a forced-swim test. These results replicate our earlier findings that peripheral injection of CRF suppresses vocalizing and a measure of locomotor activity in isolated guinea pig pups and identifies a number of additional behavioral effects. Of central interest here, the results indicate that the suppression of vocalizing and locomotion during isolation is not due to an increase in competing stress-related behavior or to diminished motor capacity.



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