Zoe Donaldson

Zoe Donaldson
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

Ph.D.

About

44
Publications
7,389
Reads
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2,492
Citations
Citations since 2016
21 Research Items
1488 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (44)
Preprint
Full-text available
In monogamous species, prosocial behaviors directed towards partners are dramatically different from those directed towards unknown individuals and potential threats. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens plays an important role in guiding social behavior, however, its role in real time social decision making in a monogamous species remains lar...
Article
In monogamous species, pair bonding leads to striking changes in social behavior and neural circuitry. We outline the cognitive building blocks of monogamous pair bonding in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), as well as opportunities afforded by the species to investigate diverse mechanisms underlying social experience-dependent plasticity and g...
Article
The rewarding properties of social interactions facilitate relationship formation and maintenance. Prairie voles are one of the few laboratory species that form selective relationships, manifested as "partner preferences" for familiar partners versus strangers. While both sexes exhibit strong partner preferences, this similarity in outward behavior...
Article
Full-text available
In pair bonding animals, coordinated behavior between partners is required for the pair to accomplish shared goals such as raising young. Despite this, experimental designs rarely assess the behavior of both partners within a bonded pair. Thus, we lack an understanding of the interdependent behavioral dynamics between partners that likely facilitat...
Preprint
In pair bonding animals, coordinated behavior between partners is required for the pair to accomplish shared goals such as raising young. Despite this, experimental designs rarely assess the behavior of both partners within a bonded pair. Thus, we lack an understanding of the interdependent behavioral dynamics between partners that likely facilitat...
Preprint
The rewarding properties of social interactions facilitate relationship formation and maintenance. Prairie voles are one of the few laboratory species that form selective relationships, manifested as "partner preferences" for familiar partners versus strangers. While both sexes exhibit strong partner preferences, this similarity in outward behavior...
Preprint
Full-text available
The loss of a spouse is often cited as the most traumatic event in a person’s life. However, for most people, the severity of grief and its maladaptive effects subside over time via an understudied adaptive process. Like humans, socially monogamous prairie voles ( Microtus ochrogaster ) form opposite-sex pair bonds, and upon partner separation, sho...
Article
Full-text available
Advanced technologies for controlled delivery of light to targeted locations in biological tissues are essential to neuroscience research that applies optogenetics in animal models. Fully implantable, miniaturized devices with wireless control and power-harvesting strategies offer an appealing set of attributes in this context, particularly for stu...
Article
Monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) form mating-based pair bonds. Although wild prairie voles rarely re-pair following loss of a partner, laboratory studies have shown that previous pairing and mating does not negate the ability to form a new partner preference. However, little is known about how prior bond experience may alter the traj...
Preprint
Full-text available
Monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) form mating-based pair bonds. Although wild prairie voles rarely re-pair following loss of a partner, laboratory studies have shown that previous pairing and mating does not negate the ability to form a new partner preference. However, little is known about how prior bond experience may alter the traj...
Article
Pair-bond formation depends vitally on neuromodulatory signaling within the nucleus accumbens, but the neuronal dynamics underlying this behavior remain unclear. Using 1-photon in vivo Ca ²⁺ imaging in monogamous prairie voles, we found that pair bonding does not elicit differences in overall nucleus accumbens Ca ²⁺ activity. Instead, we identified...
Article
Social buffering occurs when the presence of a companion attenuates the physiological and/or behavioral effects of a stressful or fear-provoking event. It represents a way in which social interactions can immediately and potently modulate behavior. As such, social buffering is one mechanism by which strong social support increases resilience to men...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social buffering occurs when the presence of a companion attenuates the physiological and/or behavioral effects of a stressful or fear-provoking event. It represents a way in which social interactions can immediately and potently modulate behavior. As such, social buffering is one mechanism by which strong social support increases resilience to men...
Article
Full-text available
The 5-HT1A autoreceptor mediates feedback inhibition of serotonin (5-HT) neurons, and is implicated in major depression. The human 5-HT1A gene (HTR1A) rs6295 risk allele prevents Deaf1 binding to HTR1A, resulting in increased 5-HT1A autoreceptor transcription. Since chronic stress alters HTR1A methylation and expression, we addressed whether recrui...
Chapter
Affiliation and social attachments in some form are critical for the survival of all mammalian species and significantly influence human mental health. Although very little is known regarding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms influencing the development of human relationships, studies using animal models have gained insights into the regula...
Article
Full-text available
The G/C single-nucleotide polymorphism in the serotonin 1a receptor promoter, rs6295, has previously been linked with depression, suicide and antidepressant responsiveness. In vitro studies suggest that rs6295 may have functional effects on the expression of the serotonin 1a receptor gene (HTR1A) through altered binding of a number of transcription...
Article
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants, but the mechanisms by which they influence behavior are only partially resolved. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is necessary for some of the responses to SSRIs, but it is not known whether mature dentate gyrus granule cells (DG GCs) also contribute. We deleted the sero...
Article
Full-text available
Sex steroids control vertebrate behavior by modulating neural circuits specialized for sex steroid sensitivity. In birds, receptors for androgens (AR) and estrogens (ERα) show conserved expression in neural circuits controlling copulatory and vocal behaviors. Male golden-collared manakins have become a model for evaluating hormonal control of compl...
Article
Psychiatric genetics research is bidirectional in nature, with human and animal studies becoming more closely integrated as techniques for genetic manipulations allow for more subtle exploration of disease phenotypes. This synergy, however, highlights the importance of considering the way in which we approach the genotype-phenotype relationship. In...
Article
The serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1A) plays a major role in modulating the effects of serotonin on mood and behavior. Previous studies have shown that knockout of 5-HT1A selectively in the raphe leads to higher levels of anxiety during adulthood. However, it remains unclear whether this phenotype is due to variation in receptor levels specifically dur...
Article
Full-text available
Certain genes exhibit notable diversity in their expression patterns both within and between species. One such gene is the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (Avpr1a), which exhibits striking differences in neural expression patterns that are responsible for mediating differences in vasopressin-mediated social behaviors. The genomic mechanisms that contr...
Article
At stake in the May 2013 publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), are billions of dollars in insurance payments and government resources, as well as the diagnoses and treatment of millions of patients. We argue that the most recent revision process has missed social determinants of mental heal...
Article
Full-text available
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is an ancient signaling molecule that has a conserved role in modulating mood and behavior. Integral to its pleiotropic actions is the existence of multiple receptors, expressed in distinct but often overlapping patterns within the brain and the periphery. The existence of ∼14 mammalian receptor subtypes, many...
Article
Full-text available
'Tradition' has been invoked to explain instances in which animals aggregate repeatedly in the same locations for no apparent reason, but alternative explanations, such as cryptic habitat selection, are difficult to rule out. Distinguishing among these hypotheses requires field experiments. We studied a species of harvestman (Prionostemma sp.) that...
Article
Vasopressin is a neuropeptide that has been strongly implicated in the development and evolution of complex social relations and cognition in mammals. Recent studies in voles have shown that polymorphic variation in the promoter region of the arginine vasopressin V1a receptor gene (avpr1a) is associated with different dimensions of sociality. In hu...
Article
Full-text available
How the brain mediates behavior is a question relevant to a broad range of disciplines including evolutionary biology, basic neuroscience, psychiatry, and population health. Experiments in animals have traditionally used two distinct approaches to explore brain-behavior relationships; one uses naturally existing behavioral models while the other fo...
Article
Full-text available
The neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) modulates a variety of species-specific social behaviors. In socially monogamous male prairie voles, AVP acts centrally via vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) to facilitate mating induced partner preferences. The display of a partner preference requires at least 2 temporally distinct processes: social bond f...
Article
The study of alternative model organisms has yielded tremendous insights into the regulation of behavioral and physiological traits not displayed by more widely used animal models, such as laboratory rats and mice. In particular, comparative approaches often exploit species ideally suited for investigating specific phenomenon. For instance, compara...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing evidence that the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin modulate complex social behavior and social cognition. These ancient neuropeptides display a marked conservation in gene structure and expression, yet diversity in the genetic regulation of their receptors seems to underlie natural variation in social behavior, both between a...
Article
Full-text available
The arginine vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) modulates social cognition and behavior in a wide variety of species. Variation in a repetitive microsatellite element in the 5' flanking region of the V1aR gene (AVPR1A) in rodents has been associated with variation in brain V1aR expression and in social behavior. In humans, the 5' flanking region of AV...
Article
Most models of habitat selection assume that individual animals choose and either reuse or abandon sites based on a constant reassessment of site quality. When survival is a function of the presence of conspecifics, however, the benefits of returning to traditional sites may override resource assessment. Many animals form roosting aggregations at w...
Article
Many species have been reported to form roosting (resting, sleeping) aggregations at 'traditional' sites, but the alternative hypothesis that spe- cific sites are used repeatedly because of habitat limitation is rarely tes- ted. We studied the roosting behavior of a species of harvestman (Opiliones, Prionostemma sp.) at a lowland rainforest site in...
Article
Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) converts dopamine (DA) to norepinephrine (NE), thus playing a critical role in catecholamine metabolism. We examined the effects of Dbh gene dosage and the DBH inhibitor disulfiram in mice with zero, one, or two null Dbh alleles (+/+, +/-, and-/- mice). DBH protein levels in adrenal and prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ad...
Article
Evidence is presented for transcriptional regulation of de novo pheromone biosynthesis in Ips spp. bark beetles, but the comparative biochemical and molecular approach reveals a dichotomy between species in the pini and grandicollis subgeneric groups. Radiotracer studies with 14C-acetate demonstrate that feeding on host phloem stimulates biosynthes...

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Project (1)
Project
Assessment on dys-regulation of serotonin system and similar alterations in pre- and post-synaptic neuronal activity associated with depression and anxiety phenotypes and response to chronic SSRI treatment