Maternal care is essential for an adequate pup development, as well as for the health of the dam. Exposure to stress in early stages of life can disrupt this dam–pup relationship promoting altered neurobiological and behavioral phenotypes. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the effects of daily maternal separation (MS) on the pattern of maternal behavior. The aim of this study is to compare the patterns of maternal behavior between mice exposed to MS and controls. BALB/c mice were subjected to MS for a period of 180 min/day from postnatal day 2–7 (n = 17) or designated to be standard animal facility reared (AFR) controls (n = 19). Maternal behaviors were computed as frequency of nursing, licking pups and contact with pups, and nonmaternal behaviors were computed as frequency of actions without interaction with pups and eating/drinking. A total of 18 daily observations of maternal behavior were conducted during these six days, and considering the proportion of maternal and nonmaternal behaviors, an index was calculated. There was no difference when comparing the global index of maternal behavior between the AFR and MS animals by the end of the observed period. However, the pattern of maternal behavior between groups was significantly different. While MS dams presented low frequency of maternal behavior within the first couple days of the stress protocol, but increasing over time, AFR dams showed higher maternal behavior at the beginning, reducing over time. Together, our results indicate that MS alters the maternal behavior of the dams toward pups throughout the first week of the stress protocol and provoked some anxiety-related traits in the dams. The inversion of maternal behavior pattern could possibly be an attempt to compensate the low levels of maternal care observed in the first days of MS.

Maternal behavior of the mouse dam toward pups : implications for maternal separation model of early life stress / R. Orso, L.E. Wearick-Silva, K.C. Creutzberg, A. Centeno-Silva, L. Glusman Roithmann, R. Pazzin, S.G. Tractenberg, F. Benetti, R. Grassi-Oliveira. - In: STRESS. - ISSN 1025-3890. - 21:1(2018 Jan), pp. 19-27. [10.1080/10253890.2017.1389883]

Maternal behavior of the mouse dam toward pups : implications for maternal separation model of early life stress

K.C. Creutzberg;
2018

Abstract

Maternal care is essential for an adequate pup development, as well as for the health of the dam. Exposure to stress in early stages of life can disrupt this dam–pup relationship promoting altered neurobiological and behavioral phenotypes. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the effects of daily maternal separation (MS) on the pattern of maternal behavior. The aim of this study is to compare the patterns of maternal behavior between mice exposed to MS and controls. BALB/c mice were subjected to MS for a period of 180 min/day from postnatal day 2–7 (n = 17) or designated to be standard animal facility reared (AFR) controls (n = 19). Maternal behaviors were computed as frequency of nursing, licking pups and contact with pups, and nonmaternal behaviors were computed as frequency of actions without interaction with pups and eating/drinking. A total of 18 daily observations of maternal behavior were conducted during these six days, and considering the proportion of maternal and nonmaternal behaviors, an index was calculated. There was no difference when comparing the global index of maternal behavior between the AFR and MS animals by the end of the observed period. However, the pattern of maternal behavior between groups was significantly different. While MS dams presented low frequency of maternal behavior within the first couple days of the stress protocol, but increasing over time, AFR dams showed higher maternal behavior at the beginning, reducing over time. Together, our results indicate that MS alters the maternal behavior of the dams toward pups throughout the first week of the stress protocol and provoked some anxiety-related traits in the dams. The inversion of maternal behavior pattern could possibly be an attempt to compensate the low levels of maternal care observed in the first days of MS.
Early life stress; maternal behavior; maternal care; maternal separation; Animals; Animals, Newborn; Anxiety; Female; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred BALB C; Behavior, Animal; Maternal Behavior; Maternal Deprivation; Stress, Psychological
Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/762270
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