Dynamic brain receptor changes in the victims of aggression

Subordination stress alters brain alpha2-adrenoceptors
  • Gabriele Flügge
  • Marja Van Kampen
  • Eberhard Fuchs


A general behavioural arousal that is one of the prerequisites of an agonistic encounter between two individuals is accompanied by an acute activation of the brain noradrenergic system which, among other functions, guarantees a high level of attention1. After a single acute social conflict that elicits such an arousal, the brain may return back to normal levels of activity. However, during chronic stress induced by repetitive challenging situations, the brain might be constantly activated. This is at least the case in subordinate animals that have been once defeated by a dominant and are then daily confronted with the superior conspecific during a long time period.


Recovery Period Chronic Stress Locus Coeruleus Psychosocial Stress Stress Period 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Flügge
    • 1
  • Marja Van Kampen
    • 1
  • Eberhard Fuchs
    • 1
  1. 1.German Primate CentreGöttingenGermany

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