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Variations in maternal care affect the development of individual differences in neuroendocrine responses to stress in rats. As adults, the offspring of mothers that exhibited more licking and grooming of pups during the first 10 days of life showed reduced plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone responses to acute stress, increased hippocampal(More)
In the rat, variations in maternal care appear to influence the development of behavioral and endocrine responses to stress in the offspring. The results of cross-fostering studies reported here provide evidence for (i) a causal relationship between maternal behavior and stress reactivity in the offspring and (ii) the transmission of such individual(More)
We report that variations in maternal care in the rat promote hippocampal synaptogenesis and spatial learning and memory through systems known to mediate experience-dependent neural development. Thus, the offspring of mothers that show high levels of pup licking and grooming and arched-back nursing showed increased expression of NMDA receptor subunit and(More)
Naturally occurring variations in maternal licking/grooming influence neural development and are transmitted from mother to female offspring. We found that the induction of maternal behavior in virgin females through constant exposure to pups (pup sensitization) was significantly shorter in the offspring of High compared with Low licking/grooming mothers,(More)
Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene expression is regulated in a complex tissue-specific manner, notably by early-life environmental events that program tissue GR levels. We have identified and characterized several new rat GR mRNAs. All encode a common protein, but differ in their 5'-leader sequences as a consequence of alternate splicing of, potentially, 11(More)
Variations in maternal behavior among lactating rats associate with differences in estrogen-oxytocin interactions in the medial preoptic area (mPOA) and in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (nAcc). Thus, stable, individual differences in pup licking/grooming (LG) are abolished by oxytocin receptor blockade or treatments that eliminate differences in(More)
The adrenal glucocorticoids and catecholamines comprise a frontline of defense for mammalian species under conditions which threaten homeostasis (conditions commonly referred to as stress). Glucocorticoids represent the end product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and along with the catecholamines serve to mobilize the production and(More)
Postnatal handling increases glucocorticoid receptor expression in the rat hippocampus, thus altering the regulation of hypothalamic synthesis of corticotropin-releasing hormone and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to stress. The effect on glucocorticoid receptor gene expression represents one mechanism by which the early environment can exert a(More)
While many experiment with drugs, relatively few individuals develop a true addiction. We hypothesized that, in rats, such individual differences in the actions of addictive drugs might be determined by postnatal rearing conditions. To test this idea, we investigated whether stimulant- and stress-induced activation of nucleus accumbens dopamine transmission(More)
Naturally occurring variations in maternal care in early postnatal life are associated with the development of individual differences in behavioral and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to stress in the rat. These effects appear to be mediated by the influence of maternal licking/grooming on the development of central systems that serve to activate(More)