Cats, Left-pawed Mice, stress chemicals

Investigator Richard Wassersug alerts us to this study, saying “This paper looks quite technical, but it is also rather cute.  Who would have thought that stress responses in the brain, as measured by immunological defenses were so lateralized?”

Predator exposure-induced cerebral interleukins are modulated heterogeneously by behavioral asymmetry“, Yun Su, Zefeng Xie, Gang Xin, Lichun Zhao, Kangsheng Li, Immunology Letters, Volume 135, Issues 1-2, 30 March 2011, Pages 158-164. The authors, at Shantou University Medical College and Jinlin University, both in China, report:

“To determine the impact of behavioral asymmetry, mice were divided into left- and right-pawed groups by paw preference. Then, the mice received either a single 60-min or a daily 60-min predator exposure (cat exposure) for 14 consecutive days. After receiving predator exposure, trunk blood was collected and brain tissues, including the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus, were separated. … The left-pawed mice showed a decreased variation in CS [plasma corticosterone], less than right-pawed mice…”