Postnatal stimulation of the pups counteracts prenatal stress-induced deficits in hippocampal neurogenesis.
Biological Psychiatry. 2006-05-01; 59(9): 786-792
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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
Lemaire V(1), Lamarque S, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN.
(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
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
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.
PMID: 16460692 [Indexed for MEDLINE]