Sex Differences in the Behavioural Response to FGF2 Administration

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Pepe, Andrea Maria




Anxiety is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in Canada, but its etiology is not yet fully known. The current treatments for anxiety disorders have considerable limitations, making it necessary for research to explore new therapeutic targets and treatments. Recent research has identified the use of FGF2 as a potent endogenous anxiolytic factor. The present study examined a maternal separation rodent model of anxiety to mimic early life parental separation in humans. Following adult treatment with vehicle control or FGF2, rats were tested on depressive and anxiety-like behavioural measures. Results did not show an effect of maternal separation stress on anxiety; however, there was a sex-specific response to FGF2 in controls, such that females appeared to respond better to FGF2 administration than males. Future research will be needed to delineate these sex-specific differences in FGF2's anxiolytic potential in order to understand the generalizability of its therapeutic potential.






Carleton University

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