Learn More
Epidemiological research has emphasized that adolescence is associated with some temperamental and behavioral traits that are typical of this age and that might substantially contribute to both psychological and psychobiological vulnerability. The contribution of the important developmental rearrangements in neurobiological and neuroendocrinological(More)
The development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to stress is influenced by the early mother-infant relationship. In rats, early handling (brief daily mother-offspring separations) attenuates the adult offspring's HPA and fear responses compared to both nonhandling (no separations) and maternal separation (prolonged daily separations).(More)
A "gateway" function toward substance abuse has been suggested for early tobacco smoking. Nicotine actually represents an easily available drug for human adolescents, who are very likely to use a number of different psychoactive agents. Surprisingly, the psychobiological factors involved in this age-related willingness have been poorly investigated. In(More)
Environmental stimulation throughout development adjusts the neurobehavioral systems involved in learning, memory and defensive responses. Environment-mediated phenotypic plasticity can be considered from two different, yet complementary, viewpoints. On one hand, the possibility that environmental interventions protect against the effects of genetic and/or(More)
Developmental plasticity of HPA and fear responses in rats has been proposed to be mediated by environment-dependent variation in active maternal care. Here, we review this maternal mediation hypothesis based on the postnatal manipulation literature and on our own recent research in rats. We show that developmental plasticity of HPA and fear responses in(More)
Postnatal manipulations such as brief (early handling, EH) and long, daily mother-offspring separations (maternal separation, MS) in rats are used to study the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity of stress and fear responses, and to model stress-related disorders in humans and in non-human animals. Current evidence suggests that, compared to(More)
Nicotine (NIC) shares most of the characteristics of other addictive drugs. However, attempts to establish oral self-administration failed under an ad libitum fluid availability. Outbred mice were scheduled to a restricted 2 h/day water access. In Experiment I, such schedule elevated corticosterone blood levels, which were strongly reduced following the(More)
Early life adverse experiences have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing later depressive symptoms. In this frame, human adolescents have been suggested to approach psychoactive drugs in order to self-medicate emerging depressive states. In keeping with these considerations, outbred CD-1 mice of both sexes, which underwent a single 24-h(More)
Recent data indicate that both availability and consumption of synthetic and natural psychoactive substances, marketed under the name of “legal highs”, has increased. Among them, the aminoalkylindole-derivative JWH-018 is widely distributed due to its capability of binding the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 thereby mimicking the effects of classical drug(More)
People are very likely to start psychoactive drug use during adolescence, an earlier onset being associated with a higher risk of developing addiction later in life. In experiment I, Pre- (postnatal day (pnd) 23-35), Mid- (pnd 36-48), or Post- (pnd 49-61) adolescent mice underwent a restricted-drinking period (2 h/day for 12 days), one bottle containing(More)