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Behavioral profiles and stress-induced corticosteroid secretion in male Wistar rats subjected to short and prolonged periods of maternal separation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Neuropharmacology, Addiction and Behaviour)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Neuropharmacology, Addiction and Behaviour)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Neuropharmacology, Addiction & Behaviour)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. (Neuropharmacology, Addiction & Behaviour)
2006 (English)In: Hormones and Behavior, ISSN 0018-506X, E-ISSN 1095-6867, Vol. 50, no 5, 736-747 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Early life experiences are important for the development of neurobiobehavioral mechanisms and subsequent establishment of mental functions. In experimental animals, early life experiences can be studied using the maternal separation model. Maternal separation has been described to induce neurobiological changes and thus affect brain function, mental state and behavior. We have established a protocol in order to study the effects of repeated short and prolonged periods of maternal separation during the postnatal period on adult neurochemistry, voluntary ethanol intake and behavior. In the present experiment, we focus on the long-term effects of maternal separation on exploration and risk assessment behavior as well corticosteroid secretion. Rat pups were assigned to 15 min (MS15) or 360 min (MS360) of daily maternal separation and normal animal facility rearing (AFR) during postnatal days 1-21. To establish the adult behavioral profile in male rats, three tests were used: the Concentric Square Field (CSF), the Open Field (OF) and the Elevated Plus-maze (EPM). No differences between the three experimental groups were found in the traditional OF and EPM tests. The CSF test indicated that the MS360 rats were more explorative and expressed an altered risk assessment and risk-taking profile. In response to a restraint stress, MS360 rats had a blunted corticosterone release in contrast to MS15 and AFR rats. In contrast to previous results, the outcome of the present investigation does not support the notion that a prolonged period of maternal separation results in an adult phenotype characterized by an increased emotional reactivity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 50, no 5, 736-747 p.
Keyword [en]
Concentric Square Field, Corticosterone, Elevated Plus-maze, Emotional reactivity, Handling, Maternal deprivation, Open Field, Principal Component Analysis, Restraint stress, Risk assessment
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-22950DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.06.016ISI: 000242837800010PubMedID: 16876800OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-22950DiVA: diva2:50723
Available from: 2007-01-23 Created: 2007-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-07
In thesis
1. Maternal Separation in Rats: An Experimental Model for Long-Term Effects of Early Life Experiences on Neurochemistry, Voluntary Ethanol Intake and Exploration and Risk Assessment Behavior
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maternal Separation in Rats: An Experimental Model for Long-Term Effects of Early Life Experiences on Neurochemistry, Voluntary Ethanol Intake and Exploration and Risk Assessment Behavior
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The period of early life is important for the development of individual brain function and behavior. Human studies have shown altered vulnerability to develop psychopathology and/or excessive drug intake, possibly leading to dependence, as a consequence of early life experiences. In the present thesis, maternal separation (MS), an experimental model for studies of early environmental influences, was used to investigate long-term effects on neurochemistry, voluntary ethanol intake and exploration and risk assessment behavior in rats. Rat pups were assigned to one of three different rearing conditions: daily 15 min (MS15) or 360 min (MS360) of MS and normal animal facility rearing (AFR) during the first three weeks of life. Measurements of adult endogenous opioid peptide levels, opioid- and dopamine receptor density revealed minor MS-induced effects on the opioid system whereas interesting alterations were found in dopamine receptor density. Long-term effects on voluntary ethanol intake showed distinct MS-induced alterations in male Wistar and ethanol-preferring AA (Alko, Alcohol) rats. Female Wistar rats were unaffected, indicating sex differences in the effects of MS on ethanol intake. Male MS15 rats generally had a slower acquisition phase and a low subsequent ethanol intake whereas male MS360 rats had a high ethanol intake. MS15 is therefore suggested to protect against a high voluntary ethanol intake in male rats whereas MS360 may serve as a risk factor. The recently established concentric square field test indicated alterations in risk assessment as well as an increased exploratory drive and somewhat higher risk-taking behavior in adult MS360 rats, while minor effects were seen in MS15 rats. Altogether, these results demonstrate that environmental influences during the period of early life can have long-term effects on neurochemistry and behavior. Of special interest is the finding that MS altered the inherited high ethanol intake in adult ethanol-preferring AA rats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 81 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 0282-7484 ; 313
Keyword
Pharmaceutical pharmacology, Handling, Maternal Deprivation, Environment, Opioids, Dopamine, Alcohol, Stress, Concentric Square Field, Open Field, Elevated Plus-maze, Farmaceutisk farmakologi
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4465 (URN)91-554-6009-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-09-24, B42, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-09-03 Created: 2004-09-03 Last updated: 2009-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Roman, ErikaBerg, MaritaNylander, Ingrid

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