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Dev Neurosci. 2019 Dec 20:1-11. doi: 10.1159/000504508. [Epub ahead of print]

Presence of Mother Reduces Early-Life Social Stress: Linking the Alteration in Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Serotonergic System.

Author information

1
Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India, emmanuvel1972@yahoo.com.
2
Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India.
3
School of Molecular Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Washington, Australia.
4
Department of Zoology, Government Arts College, Karur, India.

Abstract

In this study, we examined whether the presence of mother suppresses early-life stressful social experience (SSE)-induced anxiety-like behavior and impairment of short-term memory later in life. On postnatal day (PND)-5, mothers with pups were grouped as follows: (i) control; (ii) maternal separation (MS); (iii) pups with mother experience the presence of a stranger (M+P-ST); and (iv) maternal separated pups experience the presence of a stranger (MSP-ST). Individuals were subjected to light-dark box and spontaneous alternation from PND-29 to 32. We observed that the MSP-ST group exhibits anxiety-like behavior and impairment in short-term memory. Further, SSE significantly elevated the adrenocorticotropic hormone, corticosterone and expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in MSP-ST pups. Similarly, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT), dopamine, noradrenaline and expression of serotonin transporter levels were significantly elevated in MSP-ST pups. These observations suggest that during early postnatal days, the pups may recognize strangers by the sense of smell, and the presence of mother reduces the SSE-induced stress.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety-like behavior; Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; Neurotransmitters; Short-term memory; Stressful social experience

PMID:
31865338
DOI:
10.1159/000504508

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