Reversal of prenatal diazepam-induced deficit in a spatial-object learning task by brief,periodic maternal separation in adult rats.

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Abstract

In the rat, prenatal exposure to diazepam (DZ) induces a permanent reduction in GABA/BZ receptor (R) function and behavioural abnormalities. Environmental modifications during early stages of life can influence brain development and induce neurobiological and behavioural changes throughout adulthood. Indeed, a subtle, periodic, postnatal manipulation increases GABA/BZ R activity and produces facilitatory effects on neuroendocrine and behavioural responses. We here investigated the impact of prenatal treatment with DZ on learning performance in adult 3- and 8-month-old male rats and the influence of a brief, periodic maternal separation on the effects exerted by prenatal DZ exposure. Learning performance was examined employing a non-aversive spatial, visual and/or tactile task, the "Can test". Behavioural reactivity, emotional state and fear/anxiety-driven behaviour were also examined using open field (OF), acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and elevated plus-maze (EPM) tests. A single daily injection of DZ (1.5 mg/kg, s.c.), over gestational days (GD) 14-20, induced, in an age-independent manner, a severe deficit in learning performance, a decrease in locomotor and explorative activity and an increase in peak amplitude in the ASR. Furthermore, anxiety-driven behaviour in EPM was disrupted. Daily maternal separation for 15 min over postnatal days 2-21 exerted opposite effects in all the paradigms examined. Prenatally DZ-exposed maternal separated rats, in contrast to respective non-separated rats, showed an improvement in learning performance, a decrease in emotionality and a normalization of the exploratory behaviour in EPM. These results suggest that a greater maternal care, induced by separation, can serve as a source for the developing brain to enhance neuronal plasticity and to prevent the behavioural abnormalities induced by prenatal DZ exposure. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)320-330
Numero di pagine11
RivistaBehavioural Brain Research
Volume161
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

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Diazepam
Mothers
Startle Reflex
Learning
Anxiety
Neuronal Plasticity
Exploratory Behavior
GABA Receptors
Brain
Touch
Locomotion
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Fear
Spatial Learning
Injections

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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title = "Reversal of prenatal diazepam-induced deficit in a spatial-object learning task by brief,periodic maternal separation in adult rats.",
abstract = "In the rat, prenatal exposure to diazepam (DZ) induces a permanent reduction in GABA/BZ receptor (R) function and behavioural abnormalities. Environmental modifications during early stages of life can influence brain development and induce neurobiological and behavioural changes throughout adulthood. Indeed, a subtle, periodic, postnatal manipulation increases GABA/BZ R activity and produces facilitatory effects on neuroendocrine and behavioural responses. We here investigated the impact of prenatal treatment with DZ on learning performance in adult 3- and 8-month-old male rats and the influence of a brief, periodic maternal separation on the effects exerted by prenatal DZ exposure. Learning performance was examined employing a non-aversive spatial, visual and/or tactile task, the {"}Can test{"}. Behavioural reactivity, emotional state and fear/anxiety-driven behaviour were also examined using open field (OF), acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and elevated plus-maze (EPM) tests. A single daily injection of DZ (1.5 mg/kg, s.c.), over gestational days (GD) 14-20, induced, in an age-independent manner, a severe deficit in learning performance, a decrease in locomotor and explorative activity and an increase in peak amplitude in the ASR. Furthermore, anxiety-driven behaviour in EPM was disrupted. Daily maternal separation for 15 min over postnatal days 2-21 exerted opposite effects in all the paradigms examined. Prenatally DZ-exposed maternal separated rats, in contrast to respective non-separated rats, showed an improvement in learning performance, a decrease in emotionality and a normalization of the exploratory behaviour in EPM. These results suggest that a greater maternal care, induced by separation, can serve as a source for the developing brain to enhance neuronal plasticity and to prevent the behavioural abnormalities induced by prenatal DZ exposure. {\circledC} 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
author = "Emanuele Cannizzaro and Fulvio Plescia and Maria Martire",
year = "2005",
language = "English",
volume = "161",
pages = "320--330",
journal = "Behavioural Brain Research",
issn = "0166-4328",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Reversal of prenatal diazepam-induced deficit in a spatial-object learning task by brief,periodic maternal separation in adult rats.

AU - Cannizzaro, Emanuele

AU - Plescia, Fulvio

AU - Martire, Maria

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - In the rat, prenatal exposure to diazepam (DZ) induces a permanent reduction in GABA/BZ receptor (R) function and behavioural abnormalities. Environmental modifications during early stages of life can influence brain development and induce neurobiological and behavioural changes throughout adulthood. Indeed, a subtle, periodic, postnatal manipulation increases GABA/BZ R activity and produces facilitatory effects on neuroendocrine and behavioural responses. We here investigated the impact of prenatal treatment with DZ on learning performance in adult 3- and 8-month-old male rats and the influence of a brief, periodic maternal separation on the effects exerted by prenatal DZ exposure. Learning performance was examined employing a non-aversive spatial, visual and/or tactile task, the "Can test". Behavioural reactivity, emotional state and fear/anxiety-driven behaviour were also examined using open field (OF), acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and elevated plus-maze (EPM) tests. A single daily injection of DZ (1.5 mg/kg, s.c.), over gestational days (GD) 14-20, induced, in an age-independent manner, a severe deficit in learning performance, a decrease in locomotor and explorative activity and an increase in peak amplitude in the ASR. Furthermore, anxiety-driven behaviour in EPM was disrupted. Daily maternal separation for 15 min over postnatal days 2-21 exerted opposite effects in all the paradigms examined. Prenatally DZ-exposed maternal separated rats, in contrast to respective non-separated rats, showed an improvement in learning performance, a decrease in emotionality and a normalization of the exploratory behaviour in EPM. These results suggest that a greater maternal care, induced by separation, can serve as a source for the developing brain to enhance neuronal plasticity and to prevent the behavioural abnormalities induced by prenatal DZ exposure. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - In the rat, prenatal exposure to diazepam (DZ) induces a permanent reduction in GABA/BZ receptor (R) function and behavioural abnormalities. Environmental modifications during early stages of life can influence brain development and induce neurobiological and behavioural changes throughout adulthood. Indeed, a subtle, periodic, postnatal manipulation increases GABA/BZ R activity and produces facilitatory effects on neuroendocrine and behavioural responses. We here investigated the impact of prenatal treatment with DZ on learning performance in adult 3- and 8-month-old male rats and the influence of a brief, periodic maternal separation on the effects exerted by prenatal DZ exposure. Learning performance was examined employing a non-aversive spatial, visual and/or tactile task, the "Can test". Behavioural reactivity, emotional state and fear/anxiety-driven behaviour were also examined using open field (OF), acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and elevated plus-maze (EPM) tests. A single daily injection of DZ (1.5 mg/kg, s.c.), over gestational days (GD) 14-20, induced, in an age-independent manner, a severe deficit in learning performance, a decrease in locomotor and explorative activity and an increase in peak amplitude in the ASR. Furthermore, anxiety-driven behaviour in EPM was disrupted. Daily maternal separation for 15 min over postnatal days 2-21 exerted opposite effects in all the paradigms examined. Prenatally DZ-exposed maternal separated rats, in contrast to respective non-separated rats, showed an improvement in learning performance, a decrease in emotionality and a normalization of the exploratory behaviour in EPM. These results suggest that a greater maternal care, induced by separation, can serve as a source for the developing brain to enhance neuronal plasticity and to prevent the behavioural abnormalities induced by prenatal DZ exposure. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/7687

M3 - Article

VL - 161

SP - 320

EP - 330

JO - Behavioural Brain Research

JF - Behavioural Brain Research

SN - 0166-4328

ER -