Postnatal stimulation of the pups counteracts prenatal stress-induced deficits in hippocampal neurogenesis.

Valerie Lemaire, Stephanie Lamarque, Michel Le Moal, Pier-Vincenzo Piazza, Djoher Nora Abrous
Biological Psychiatry. 2006-05-01; 59(9): 786-792
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.009

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1. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 May 1;59(9):786-92. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Postnatal stimulation of the pups counteracts prenatal stress-induced deficits in
hippocampal neurogenesis.

Lemaire V(1), Lamarque S, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN.

Author information:
(1)Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U588, Institut
François Magendie, University of Bordeaux II, Bordeaux Cedex, France.

BACKGROUND: Prenatal stress constitutes a developmental risk factor for later
psychopathology. The behavioral disorders are sustained by neurobiological
alterations including long-term reduction of hippocampal neurogenesis; its
deregulation has been involved in cognitive impairments, mood disorders and
addiction. A major goal is to define periods in development and strategies for
intervening to prevent the effects of early stressful events. We investigated the
ability of a postnatal infantile stimulation to prevent prenatal stress-induced
alteration in hippocampal neurogenesis.
METHODS: The influence of postnatal handling on prenatal stress-induced changes
in hippocampal neurogenesis was examined in 4 and 26 month-old male rats. Three
distinct phases of the neurogenesis were studied: proliferation, survival and
neuronal differentiation.
RESULTS: Prenatal stress reduced hippocampal cell proliferation all throughout
life. Furthermore, the survival rate of newborn cells, the number of immature
neurons and the number of differentiated new neurons were reduced in young and
old prenatally-stressed rats. All those deleterious effects were counteracted by
neonatal handling.
CONCLUSIONS: These data show that finer aspects of brain shaping can be rewired
by environmental influences occurring at sensitive phase of development. They
also suggest that infantile stimulation may reverse the appearance of behavioral
disorders induced by early life stress.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.009
PMID: 16460692 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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