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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)
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)
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)
Variations in maternal behavior are associated with differences in estrogen receptor (ER)-␣ expression in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and are transmitted across generations such that, as adults, the female offspring of mothers that exhibit increased pup licking/grooming (LG) over the first week postpartum (i.e. high LG mothers) show increased ER␣(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)
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)
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)
Lactating rats exhibit stable individual differences in pup licking/grooming (LG) over the first week postpartum. Such naturally occurring variations in maternal behavior are associated with differences in estrogen-inducible oxytocin receptors in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the hypothalamus. We compared levels of ER alpha and ER beta mRNA in the MPOA(More)
Parenting and the early environment influence the risk for various psychopathologies. Studies in the rat suggest that variations in maternal care stably influence DNA methylation, gene expression, and neural function in the offspring. Maternal care affects neural development, including the GABAergic system, the function of which is linked to the(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)