Document Detail

Contact with infants modulates anxiety-generated c-fos activity in the brains of postpartum rats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18374995     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The postpartum period is associated with many behavioral changes, including a reduction in anxiety, which is thought to be necessary for mothers' ability to appropriately care for infants. In laboratory rats, this reduction in anxiety requires recent contact with pups, but areas of the brain where infant contact influences neural activity to reduce anxiety are mostly unknown. We examined c-fos expression in lactating rats whose pups were removed for 4h to increase mothers' anxiety, or not removed to maintain low anxiety in mothers, followed by exposure to the anxiogenic stimuli of either brief handling or handling followed by exposure to an elevated plus maze. Control animals had their litters removed or not, but no further stimulation. A large number of neural sites traditionally implicated in regulating anxiety in male rats were examined, and similar to what is found in male rats, most showed increased Fos expression after handling and/or elevated plus-maze exposure. Litter presence before testing affected Fos expression due to handling or elevated plus-maze exposure only in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, dorsal and ventral preoptic area, ventromedial hypothalamus, lateral habenula, and supramammillary nucleus. Contrary to expectations, prior litter presence was associated with more Fos expression in most of these sites after handling and/or elevated plus-maze stimulation, and only after such stimulation. These sites may be of particular importance for how sensory inputs from infants modulate anxiety and other mood states during the postpartum period.
Carl D Smith; Joseph S Lonstein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-03-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural brain research     Volume:  190     ISSN:  0166-4328     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Brain Res.     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-28     Completed Date:  2008-07-30     Revised Date:  2014-09-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8004872     Medline TA:  Behav Brain Res     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  193-200     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Animals, Newborn
Anxiety / etiology,  metabolism*
Habenula / metabolism
Hypothalamus / metabolism
Lactation / metabolism,  psychology
Maternal Behavior*
Postpartum Period / metabolism*
Preoptic Area / metabolism
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism*
Rats, Long-Evans
Septal Nuclei / metabolism
Social Environment*
Stress, Psychological / complications,  metabolism
Tissue Distribution
Grant Support
T32 MH070343/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; T32 MH070343-07/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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