Long-Term Impacts of Post-weaning Social Isolation on Nucleus Accumbens Function

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Summary of the impact social isolation (SI) has during adolescence, including effects on behaviors associated with reward and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We focus on the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc), is crucial to the integration of rewarding stimuli, the NAc is especially sensitive to disruptions by adolescent social isolation stress, and look at long-term behavioral consequences of adolescent social isolation rearing on the NAc, including cellular and molecular changes within the NAc that might underlie the long-term effects on behavior. Additionally, mining publicly available data reveals key transcriptional profiles induced by adolescence social isolation in genes associated with dopamine receptor 1 and 2 medium spiny neurons and genes associated with cocaine self-administration. Together, this review provides a comprehensive discussion of the wide-ranging long-term impacts of adolescent social isolation on the dopaminergic system from molecules through behavior.