Prenatal antagonism of stress by naltrexone administration: Early and long-lasting effects on emotional behaviors in mice

F. R. D'Amato, C. Catellano, M. Ammassari-Teule, A. Oliverio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of prenatal exposure to stress and to naltrexone on emotional behaviors were studied in CD1 mice during ontogeny and in the adulthood. During ontogeny (a) lower body weights were initially found in pups born by mothers injected with naltrexone; (b) treatments did not affect sensory motor development except in the case of the cliff aversion reflex which occurred earlier in pups prenatally exposed to stress; (c) measures of ultrasonic vocalizations in stressful context showed that the amount of vocalizations emitted by pups born by stressed mothers was significantly higher than that emitted by pups born by naltrexone injected and control mothers; (d) an examination of mother-offspring interactions on the very first day of observation indicated a consistent trend in stressed mothers to be more responsive to their pups. In adulthood, ultrasonic calls in courtship after short and long periods of isolation showed a time-dependent decrease of vocalizations in males prenatally exposed to naltrexone. These results indicate that the modifications of emotionality evident during early development are directly related to the reactivity of the mothers to the experimental treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalDEV.PSYCHOBIOL.
Volume21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology
  • Psychology(all)

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