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Prenatal Restraint Stress (PRS) in rats is a validated model of early stress resulting in permanent behavioral and neurobiological outcomes. Although sexual dimorphism in the effects of PRS has been hypothesized for more than 30 years, few studies in this long period have directly addressed the issue. Our group has uncovered a pronounced gender difference(More)
The long-term consequences of a physiological-range increase of maternal corticosterone during lactation were investigated on the 15-month-old progeny. The offspring of rats drinking water supplemented with corticosterone (200 microgram/ml of corticosterone hemisuccinate) from day 1 postpartum to weaning exhibited: (i) better performance in a conditioned(More)
Hypertension is a main risk factor for cerebrovascular disease, including vascular dementia. The present study was designed to evaluate if hypertension-dependent changes of the hippocampus of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) of different ages were related with those occurring in vascular dementia. The hippocampus was chosen as the brain area involved(More)
The behavioral and physiological traits of an individual are strongly influenced by early life events. One of the major systems implicated in the responses to environmental manipulations and stress is the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol in humans and corticosterone in rodents) represent the final step in the(More)
Brain aging as well as brain degenerative processes with accompanying cognitive impairments are generally associated with hyperactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, the end product of which, the glucocorticoid hormone, has been warranted the role of cell damage primum movens ("cascade hypothesis"). However, chronic inflammatory activity(More)
The effects induced by orphanin FQ (OFQ) on morphine-induced dopamine (DA), 3,4-dihydroxyphenilacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) release in the nucleus accumbens were studied in rats by using microdialysis with electrochemical detection. Morphine administered intraperitoneally (i.p., 2, 5 and 10 mg/kg) dose-dependently increased DA and(More)
In order to test the hypothesis that maternal corticosterone influences hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity in the adult rat and behaviors related to it, we induced a moderate increase in maternal plasma level of corticosterone by adding the hormone to the drinking water of the dams (200 micrograms/ml) from the day after delivery to(More)
DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides is associated with gene silencing, stress, and memory. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158) allele in rs4680 is associated with differential enzyme activity, stress responsivity, and prefrontal activity during working memory (WM), and it creates a CpG dinucleotide. We report that methylation of the Val(158)(More)
The influence of maternal corticosterone during lactation on the development of the hippocampal corticosteroid receptor system, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and spatial learning/retention performance was investigated in the rat during postnatal days 11 to 30. We increased the plasma levels of corticosterone by adding the hormone (200(More)
Methylmercury (MeHg) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are food contaminants often found in fish. Experimental and epidemiological studies indicate that both PCBs and MeHg are developmental neurotoxicants, and some reports suggest that they may cause additive and/or synergistic neurotoxicity. We had previously investigated the effects of exposure to low(More)