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Behav Neurosci. 2008 Apr;122(2):331-9. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.2.331.

NF-kappaB regulates prenatal stress-induced cognitive impairment in offspring rats.

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Xi'an Jiaotong University.


The study was designed to investigate whether nuclear factor of kappa B (NF-kappaB) plays regulating role in prenatal stress-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative damage in offspring rats. The authors used a rat model to study plasma levels of corticosterone and oxidative DNA damage (8-OH-dG), protein expression of P65/p50 NF-kappaB, and cognitive function in female and male offspring rats in middle pregnant stage and later pregnant stage. Prenatal stress affected the capability of learning and memory in the offspring, especially in later stage stressed female offspring. The levels of corticosterone and 8-OH-dG were enhanced in response to stress. Both middle and later stage stresses induced a significant decrease in P65 expression and a significant increase in P50 expression in female offspring. In addition, later stage stress induced a significant decrease in P50 expression in male offspring. These results suggest that NF-kappaB complex may be acting in a positive regulatory fashion in prenatal stress-induced cognitive impairment and that oxidative DNA damage may exacerbate the activation of NF-kappaB.

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