Interaction between neonatal allopregnanolone administration and early maternal separation: Effects on adolescent and adult behaviors in male rat

Anna Llidó, Laura Mòdol, Sònia Darbra, Marc Pallarès

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endogenous neurosteroid level fluctuations are related to several emotional and behavioral alterations. Neurosteroids also have important roles during neurodevelopment, with there being a relationship between modification of their levels in neurodevelopmental periods and behavioral alterations in adolescence and adulthood. Early maternal separation (EMS) is a stressful event that also alters neurodevelopment and adolescent and adult behaviors. The aim of the present study is to analyze the interaction between the effects of the neonatal alteration of allopregnanolone (AlloP), neurosteroid that increase its levels after acute stress presentation, and EMS on adolescent exploration and adult anxiety and sensorimotor gating in male rats. AlloP (10. mg/kg. s.c.) was administrated between postnatal day 5 (PN5) and PN9, and a single 24-hour period of EMS was carried out on PN9. Exploration was analyzed at PN40 and PN60. At adult age (PN85), anxiety was tested by means of the elevated plus-maze test (EPM), and sensorimotor gating by means of prepulse inhibition test (PPI). PPI deterioration has been considered as a reliable indicator of diseases such as schizophrenia. Results showed that the previous neonatal AlloP administration neutralized the effects of EMS in the adolescent exploration (increase of traveled distance and decrease of head-dips). In adult age, an anxiolytic-like profile was observed as a consequence of EMS. Finally, EMS and neonatal AlloP disrupted PPI. Taken together, these data show the important role that physiological neonatal AlloP levels and stressful events play in neural development, adult behavior and vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-585
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Allopregnanolone
  • Anxiety
  • Early maternal separation
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neurosteroids
  • Novelty exploration
  • Prepulse inhibition

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