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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Maternal care influences hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function in the rat through epigenetic programming of glucocorticoid receptor expression. In humans, childhood abuse alters HPA stress responses and increases the risk of suicide. We examined epigenetic differences in a neuron-specific glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) promoter between postmortem(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)
Rationale: This study was based on the findings of a high comorbidity among anxiety and depression as well as with alcohol abuse. Objective: To evaluate first exposure alcohol preference in a rodent model of moderate neonatal maternal separation. Methods: Rat pups were exposed to either normal animal facility rearing (AFR) or 15 min (HMS15) or 180 min(More)