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Unformatted text preview: Maternal Glucocorticoid Secretion Mediates Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Stress Arnaud Barbazanges, Pier Vincenzo Piazza, Michel Le Moal, and Stefania Maccari Psychobiologie des Comportements Adaptatifs, INSERM U259, Universite ´ de Bordeaux II, Domaine de Carreire, 33077 Bordeaux Cedex, France There is growing evidence that stressors occurring during preg- nancy can impair biological and behavioral adaptation to stress in the adult offspring. Mechanisms by which stress in the pregnant rat can influence development of the offspring are still unknown. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of maternal corticosterone secretion during pregnancy on the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis activity of adult offspring. We investigated stress-induced corticosterone secretion and hippocampal type I and type II corticosteroid receptors in male adult rats submitted to prenatal stress born to either mothers with intact corticosterone secretion or mothers in which stress- induced corticosterone secretion was blocked by adrenalec- tomy with substitutive corticosterone therapy. Repeated re- straint during the last week of pregnancy was used as prenatal stressor. Furthermore, the specific role of an injection of corti- costerone before the restraint stress on adrenalectomized mothers with substitutive corticosterone treatment was also studied. We report here that blockade of the mother’s stress- induced glucocorticoid secretion suppresses the prolonged stress-induced corticosteroid response and the decrease in type I hippocampal corticosteroid receptors usually observed in prenatally stressed adults. Conversely, corticosterone ad- ministered during stress, to mothers in which corticosterone secretion is blocked, reinstates the effects of prenatal stress. These results suggest for the first time that stress-induced increases in maternal glucocorticoids may be a mechanism by which prenatal stress impairs the development of the adult offspring’s glucocorticoid response. Key words: corticosterone; corticosteroid receptors; hip- pocampus; prenatal stress; maternal environment; development Prenatal environments exert profound influences on the develop- ment of an organism and can predispose it to adaptive distur- bances in later life. In particular, in man, prenatal stress can induce mental retardation and sleep disturbances in the infant (Stott, 1973; Shell, 1981). In animals, dams stressed during preg- nancy can bear offspring with reduced male sexual activity, en- hanced emotional reactivity (Thompson, 1957; Ward and Weisz, 1984; Weinstock et al., 1988), and an increased propensity to self-administer drugs (Deminie`re et al., 1992). Stress during preg- nancy sensitizes different neuroendocrine systems, such as go- nadal axis (Ward, 1972) and hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, increasing stress-induced corticosterone secretion in preweaning rats (Peters, 1982; Takahashi et al., 1988; Henry et al., 1994) and prolonging stress-induced corticosterone secretion in...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Gabbart during the Spring '08 term at Union College.
- Spring '08
- The Land