The impact of postnatal environment on opioid peptides in young and adult male Wistar rats
2008 (English)In: Neuropeptides, ISSN 0143-4179, E-ISSN 1532-2785, Vol. 42, no 2, 177-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Early environmental influences can change the neuronal development and thereby affect behavior in adult life. The aim in the present study was to thoroughly examine the impact of early environmental factors on endogenous opioids by using a rodent maternal separation (MS) model. The endogenous opioid peptide system is not fully developed at birth, and short- and/or long-term alterations may occur in these neural networks in animals exposed to manipulation of the postnatal environment. Rat pups were subjected to one of five rearing conditions; 15 min (MS15) litter (l) or individual (i), 360 min (MS360) l or i daily MS, or housed under normal animal facility rearing (AFR) conditions during postnatal days 1-21. Measurements of immunoreactive (ir) Met-enkephalin-Arg(6)Phe(7) (MEAP) and dynorphin B (DYNB) peptide levels in the pituitary gland and in a number of brain areas, were performed at three and 10 weeks of age, respectively. MS-induced changes were more pronounced in ir MEAP levels, especially in individually separated rats at three weeks of age and in litter-separated rats at 10 weeks of age. The enkephalin and dynorphin systems have different developmental patterns, dynorphin appearing earlier, which may point at a more sensitive enkephalin system during the early postnatal weeks. The results provide evidence that opioid peptides are sensitive for early environmental factors and show that the separation conditions are critical and also result in changes manifesting at different time points. MS-induced effects were observed in areas related to stress, drug reward and dependence mechanisms. By describing effects on opioid peptides, the study addresses the possible role of a deranged endogenous opioid system in the previously described behavioral consequences of MS.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 42, no 2, 177-191 p.
handling, maternal separation, maternal deprivation, isolation, MEAP, dynorphin B
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-15880DOI: 10.1016/j.npep.2007.10.006ISI: 000254779400006PubMedID: 18082882OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-15880DiVA: diva2:43651