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Maria-Paz Viveros"Early life stress and altered neuroimmunoendocrine signalling: Insights from a developmental animal model "

Abstract :

Adult animals submitted to a single prolonged episode of maternal deprivation (MD) [24 h, postnatal day (PND) 9-10] show long-term behavioural alterations that resemble specific symptoms of psychiatric disorders (for instance, psychotic and impulsive-like symptoms and an apparent decreased ability to cope with stressful situations). According to the neurodevelopmental hypothesis, we propose that at least certain behavioural abnormalities observed in adult and adolescent MD animals may be related to altered neurodevelopmental processes. In fact, MD induces neuronal and glial changes and modifications in diverse neurochemical (monoaminergic and cannabinoid) and neuro-endocrine (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, leptin) systems. Moreover, the MD procedure also induces diverse persistent detrimental effects on the immune system and long lasting decreases in body weights. These latter effects may be in turn associated with the marked short-term endocrine changes (decreased leptin and increased corticosterone plasma levels) induced by the MD stress. Our findings have led us to propose that this type of neonatal stress (that includes social and nutritional factors) may alter the establishment of hypothalamic circuits regulating body weight and energy balance. As a whole our results suggest that the present experimental procedure might be a useful model to analyze psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine interactions underlying long-lasting consequences of early life stress.

Selected publications

Marco EM, Rubino T, Adriani W, Viveros MP, Parolaro D, Laviola G. Long-term consequences of URB597 administration during adolescence on cannabinoid CB1 receptor binding in brain areas. Brain Res. 2009 Feb 27;1257:25-31.
Llorente R, López GallardoM, Llorente Berzal A, Prada C, Garcia-Segura LM, Viveros MP. Early maternal deprivation in rats induces gender-dependent effects on developing hippocampal and cerebellar cells. Int. J. Devl Neuroscience 27 (2009) 233–241
Suárez J, Llorente R, Romero-Zerbo SY, Mateos B, Bermúdez-Silva FJ, de Fonseca FR, Viveros MP. Early maternal deprivation induces gender-dependent changes on the expression of hippocampal CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors of neonatal rats. Hippocampus. 2008 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print">