Document Detail

Overlapping litters in rats: effects on maternal behavior and offspring emotionality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18313700     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Female rats have a fertile postpartum estrus, which can result in a simultaneous gestation and lactation and later in the overlapping of two different-age litters. These different physiological and contextual situations may affect the maternal behavior of lactating rats and provoke long-lasting changes in the affective behavior of the litter. Therefore, we aimed to assess the effect of pregnancy and of litter overlapping on the maternal behavior of lactating rats and to describe the maternal- and anxiety-like behaviors of the juveniles that remained in contact with their younger siblings. Results showed that pregnant lactating rats spent more time outside the nest and less time nursing than non-pregnant mothers. On the other side, mothers with overlapping litters licked less the newborn pups than mothers with single litters. These deficits in maternal licking received by neonates were overridden by the juveniles' licking behavior to their younger siblings. Adult male and diestrous female rats reared with younger siblings showed a reduced anxiety-like behavior as compared to age-weaning matched animals without this experience. Thus, natural changes in the reproductive conditions and in the early experience, affect the maternal behavior and long-term modulate affective behavior of the individuals.
Natalia Uriarte; Annabel Ferreira; Ximena F Rosa; Vanise Sebben; Aldo B Lucion
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-02-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiology & behavior     Volume:  93     ISSN:  0031-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Behav.     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-18     Completed Date:  2008-07-31     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151504     Medline TA:  Physiol Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1061-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde (ICBS). Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Sarmento Leite 500, Porto Alegre, RS. CEP 90050-170, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Animals, Newborn
Anxiety / etiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Emotions / physiology*
Exploratory Behavior / physiology
Maternal Behavior / physiology*
Maternal Deprivation
Maze Learning / physiology
Rats, Wistar
Sex Factors

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