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Brain Res. 1996 Mar 18;712(2):287-92.

Long-term effects of prenatal stress and handling on metabolic parameters: relationship to corticosterone secretion response.

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  • 1INSERM U. 259, Université de Bordeaux II, France.


The prenatal and postnatal environment exerts a long-term influence on the stress-response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, the long-term effects of prenatal and postnatal manipulations and their related changes on glucocorticoid secretion were examined on metabolic parameters in adult rats. Plasma glucose levels, body weight and basal feeding behavior were measured. We show that modifications of the prenatal and postnatal environment have opposite long-term effects on these parameters, except for blood glucose, which was increased in prenatally stressed animals. Although the mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain to be elucidated, the observations show that perinatal manipulations have long-term effects on metabolic functions related to HPA activity.

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