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Review

Effects of Early-Life Stress on the Brain and Behaviors: Implications of Early Maternal Separation in Rodents

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara 634-8521, Japan
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21197212
Received: 13 August 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 25 September 2020 / Published: 29 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Hormones on the Nervous System and Behavior)
Early-life stress during the prenatal and postnatal periods affects the formation of neural networks that influence brain function throughout life. Previous studies have indicated that maternal separation (MS), a typical rodent model equivalent to early-life stress and, more specifically, to child abuse and/or neglect in humans, can modulate the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, affecting subsequent neuronal function and emotional behavior. However, the neural basis of the long-lasting effects of early-life stress on brain function has not been clarified. In the present review, we describe the alterations in the HPA-axis activity—focusing on serum corticosterone (CORT)—and in the end products of the HPA axis as well as on the CORT receptor in rodents. We then introduce the brain regions activated during various patterns of MS, including repeated MS and single exposure to MS at various stages before weaning, via an investigation of c-Fos expression, which is a biological marker of neuronal activity. Furthermore, we discuss the alterations in behavior and gene expression in the brains of adult mice exposed to MS. Finally, we ask whether MS repeats itself and whether intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect is possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: neglect; c-Fos; HPA axis; reward-seeking behavior; transgeneration; epigenetics; group-housing neglect; c-Fos; HPA axis; reward-seeking behavior; transgeneration; epigenetics; group-housing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nishi, M. Effects of Early-Life Stress on the Brain and Behaviors: Implications of Early Maternal Separation in Rodents. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 7212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21197212

AMA Style

Nishi M. Effects of Early-Life Stress on the Brain and Behaviors: Implications of Early Maternal Separation in Rodents. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(19):7212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21197212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nishi, Mayumi. 2020. "Effects of Early-Life Stress on the Brain and Behaviors: Implications of Early Maternal Separation in Rodents" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 19: 7212. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21197212

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