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Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Jul 20. doi: 10.1007/s12035-019-01699-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Nucleus Accumbens Mediates Individual Differences in Behavioral Responses to a Natural, Social Reward.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. tieyuan.zhang@mcgill.ca.
2
Sackler Program for Epigenetics & Psychobiology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. tieyuan.zhang@mcgill.ca.
3
Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. tieyuan.zhang@mcgill.ca.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada.
5
Sackler Program for Epigenetics & Psychobiology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. michael.meaney@mcgill.ca.
7
Sackler Program for Epigenetics & Psychobiology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. michael.meaney@mcgill.ca.
8
Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H4H1R3, Canada. michael.meaney@mcgill.ca.
9
Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, Singapore, 117609, Singapore. michael.meaney@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

BDNF-oxytocin interactions in the brain are implicated in mammalian maternal behavior. We found that BDNF gene expression is increased in the hippocampus of rat mothers that show increased pup licking/grooming (high LG mothers) compared to low LG mothers. High LG mothers also showed increased BDNF protein levels in the nucleus accumbens (nAcc). Immunoneutralization of BDNF in the nAcc eliminated the differences in pup LG between high and low LG mothers. Oxytocin antagonist in the ventral hippocampus significantly decreased the frequency of maternal LG behavior. Oxytocin antagonist significantly prevented the oxytocin-induced BDNF gene expression in primary hippocampal cell cultures. We suggest that oxytocin-induced regulation of BDNF in the nAcc provides a neuroendocrine basis for both individual differences in maternal behavior and resilience to the stress of reproduction in female mammals.

KEYWORDS:

BDNF; Maternal behavior; Nucleus accumbens; Oxytocin; Ventral hippocampus

PMID:
31327126
DOI:
10.1007/s12035-019-01699-2

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