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Physiol Behav. 1985 Jun;34(6):907-9.

Early weaning predisposes rats to exacerbated activity-stress ulcer formation.


Rats were weaned early (Day 15), normally (Day 21) or late (Day 27). When they reached 200 g (+/- 10) they were placed into the activity-stress paradigm. Half the rats in each weaning group were housed in activity-wheel cages and fed only 1 hr each day. The remaining rats served as food-yoked home cage controls and were fed only that amount of food eaten by their wheel-housed partners. Early weaned rats ran more than normally or late weaned animals. Early weaned rats also died at a faster rate and exhibited a significantly greater cumulative ulcer length than did normally or late weaned rats, although ulcer incidence did not differ between the groups. No ulcers occurred in home cage control rats. Early maternal deprivation may generally predispose rats to stress-induced gastrointestinal disease, whether or not such disease has an acid etiology.

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