The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is highly activated by stress and modulates neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Dopaminergic inputs to mPFC facilitate coping ability and demonstrate considerable hemispheric functional lateralization. The present study investigated the potentially lateralized regulation of stress responses at the level of mPFC output neurons, using ibotenic acid lesions. Neuroendocrine function was assessed by plasma corticosterone increases in response to acute or repeated 20 min restraint stress. The primary index of autonomic activation was gastric ulcer development during a separate cold restraint stress. Restraint-induced defecation was also monitored. Plasma corticosterone levels were markedly lower in response to repeated versus acute restraint stress. In acutely restrained animals, right or bilateral, but not left mPFC lesions, decreased prestress corticosterone levels, whereas i
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