Behavioral profiling reveals an enhancement of dentate gyrus paired pulse inhibition in a rat model of PTSD

Anne Albrecht, Elhanan Ben-Yishay, Gal Richter-Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We recently introduced behavioral profiling as a translational approach to increase the validity of animal models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Behavioral profiling utilizes the response of a ‘normal population’ of control animals and compares the performance of animals with a history of traumatic stress in different behavioral tests that can capture PTSD-like symptoms. Thus, affected, PTSD-like individuals can be subdivided from resilient trauma-exposed animals. While in our recent study we focused mainly on tests for activity and anxiety, we now expand the behavioral tests battery and include also fear memory and extinction tasks as well as a spatial object recognition test in our behavioral profiling approach. Utilizing underwater trauma as the traumatic event, we found that only a small subset of animals exposed to underwater trauma showed lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior and heightened emotional memory formation. Adding juvenile stress as a model for childhood adversity increased the prevalence of such affected animals and furthermore and induced additional cognitive deficits in a subgroup of such emotionally affected individuals. In addition, multiple affected individual rats displayed increased local circuit activity in the dorsal dentate gyrus, as measured in vivo with paired pulse protocols in anesthetized animals. Together, our findings highlight behavioral profiling, refined by including multiple behavioral tests, as a valid tool to identify PTSD-like vs. resilient individual animals and further suggest that enhanced local inhibition in specific circuits of the dorsal dentate gyrus may be associated with the observed symptoms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103601
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Dorsal dentate gyrus
  • GABA
  • Interneuron
  • PTSD
  • Paired pulse inhibition

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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