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Life Sci. 1991;48(16):1537-46.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone inhibits maternal behavior and induces pup-killing.

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Dept. Psychiatry, Univ. of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599-7160.


Behavioral responses to stressors and the effects of stressors on maternal behavior change with mothering experience. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is released by stressors and produces stress-like behavioral effects. We tested the effects of ICV infusion of ovine CRH (0.5-4 ug) on pup-directed behaviors in ovariectomized, ovarian steroid-treated virgin rats that were either naive to pups or that had three days of mothering experience. CRH inhibited maternal behavior in naive and experienced rats in a dose-related manner. The magnitude and duration of inhibition, especially at the 1 ug dose, were less in rats with mothering experience. Higher doses of CRH (1 - 4 ug) significantly increased pup-killing in rats that were naive to pups. In contrast, CRH produced no pup-killing in rats with mothering experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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