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Acta Naturae. 2012 Jan;4(1):86-92.

Correction of long-lasting negative effects of neonatal isolation in white rats using semax.

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  • 1Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University.


Adverse experience during the early postnatal period induces negative alterations in physiological and neurobiological functions, resulting in long-term disorder in animal behavior. The aim of the present work was to study the long-lasting effects of chronic neonatal stress in white rats and to estimate the possibility of their correction using Semax, an analogue of ACTH fragment (4-10). Early neonatal isolation was used as a model of early-life stress. Rat pups were separated from their mothers and littermates for 5 h daily during postnatal days 1-14. The pups of the control group were left undisturbed with the dams. Half of the rats subjected to neonatal isolation received an intranasal injection of Semax at a dose of 50 µg/kg daily, from postnatal day 15 until day 28. The other animals received intranasal vehicle injections daily at the same time points. It was shown that neonatal isolation leads to a delay in physical development, metabolic disturbances, and a decrease in the corticosterone stress response in white rats. These changes were observed during the first two months of life. Semax administration weakened the influence of neonatal isolation on the animals, body weight , reduced metabolic dysfunction, and led to an increase in stress-induced corticosterone release to the control values. So the chronic intranasal administration of Semax after termination of the neonatal isolation procedure diminishes the negative effects of neonatal stress.


rat; Semax; body weight; chronic stress; corticosterone; neonatal isolation

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