Brief maternal separation procedures occurring early in life affect learning and memory in adult Wistar rats: sex-related differences in cognitive behaviour

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Abstract

Adverse life events during the neonatal period result in long-term effects on physiology and behavior. Early postnatal experiences, such as a modification of the mother–infant interaction, may influence the development of neural systems that underlie the expression of neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to environmental challenges. The present study was carried out to investigate the consequences of a brief, maternal separation on declarative and spatial memory, focusing on sex related alteration due to the discrete effects that hormones may play on the brain circuits. Our results indicate that a brief, daily maternal separation results in sexually-dimorphic cognitive alterations that depend on the nature of the behavioral task. This study provides us with different outcomes useful to clarify how early life events can in fluence the behavioural adaptive mechanisms in adulthood in a sex specific manner probably due to differences in the modulation of hippocampal function and HPA axis response highliting, overall, the main role played by a high mother-infant relationship in the correct development of physiology and behaviour in adulthood
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages154
JournalJOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Volume88
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry, medical

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