Evaluating the interaction between early postnatal inflammation and maternal care in the programming of adult anxiety and depression-related behaviors

Luciana Lucchina, Valeria Carola, Fernando Pitossi, Amaicha Mara Depino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The perinatal development of the nervous system is influenced by different external and internal stimuli. Previous data show that maternal care and perinatal inflammation can induce long-term changes in anxiety- and depression-related behavior. Our hypothesis is that both maternal care and perinatal inflammation act through interacting biological pathways to program adult behavior. To evaluate this interaction, we combined a protocol of maternal care variation in mice (C57BL/6J × BALB/c reciprocal F1 offspring) with the administration of bacterial wall lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at a previously reported sensitive development age (postnatal day 3, P3). The analysis of maternal behavior revealed that pups from C57BL/6J dams received more maternal attention than those taken care by BALB/c dams. Pups receiving LPS at P3 showed an acute corticosterone response, and a dose-dependent desensitization of this hormonal response when challenged with LPS at adulthood. We analyzed adult behavior on 6 highly validated tests and found an interaction between maternal care and early postnatal LPS on 7 anxiety-related behaviors in 4 different tests. In particular, early postnatal LPS treatment resulted in higher anxiety-related behavior when administered to females receiving more maternal care (C57 pedigree), but reduced depression-related behavior in males of the same pedigree. These results suggest that specific coping strategies are sensitive to maternal care and/or postnatal inflammation programming of adult anxiety- and depression-related behaviors, suggesting that both divergent and convergent mechanisms participate in this programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume213
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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Keywords

  • Anxiety behavior
  • Depression behavior
  • F1 hybrids
  • Maternal care
  • Postnatal inflammation
  • Principal component analysis
  • Programming of adult behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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