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Here we report that increased pup licking and grooming (LG) and arched-back nursing (ABN) by rat mothers altered the offspring epigenome at a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene promoter in the hippocampus. Offspring of mothers that showed high levels of LG and ABN were found to have differences in DNA methylation, as compared to offspring of 'low-LG-ABN'(More)
Naturally occurring variations in maternal care alter the expression of genes that regulate behavioral and endocrine responses to stress, as well as hippocampal synaptic development. These effects form the basis for the development of stable, individual differences in stress reactivity and certain forms of cognition. Maternal care also influences the(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)
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)
Rat pups 2-14 days of age were exposed daily to handling (15 min of separation from mother and home cage), maternal separation (MS; 180 min of comparable separation), or were left entirely undisturbed (non-handled; NH). As adults, MS rats showed increased hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA levels compared with NH rats, while CRF mRNA(More)
In the studies reported here we have examined the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (MpFC) in regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity under basal and stressful conditions. In preliminary studies we characterized corticosteroid receptor binding in the rat MpFC. The results revealed high-affinity (Kd approximately 1 nM) binding with a(More)
In rats, an environmental manipulation occurring early in life resulted in changes in the adrenocortical axis that persisted throughout the entire life of the animals and attenuated certain deficits associated with aging. Rats handled during infancy had a permanent increase in concentrations of receptors for glucocorticoids in the hippocampus, a critical(More)
Variations in maternal care have been widely considered as a critical influence in development. In the rat, variations in maternal behavior, particularly in licking/grooming, regulate the development of endocrine, emotional and cognitive responses to stress. These studies form the basis of a potentially useful model for the study of maternal effects in(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)
A group of 14 healthy elderly subjects was submitted to a nonstressful (attentional task) and a stressful (public speaking task) condition. Declarative (conscious recollection of learned information) and nondeclarative (retrieved information without conscious or explicit access) memory as well as salivary cortisol levels were measured before and after each(More)