Raising overlapping litters: Differential activation of rat maternal neural circuitry after interacting with newborn or juvenile pups.
Pose S; Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Sección Biomatemática, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Zuluaga MJ; PDU Biofisicoquímica, Centro Universitario Regional Norte - Sede Salto, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Ferreño M; Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Sección Biomatemática, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Agrati D; Sección Fisiología y Nutrición, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Bedó G; Sección Genética Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Uriarte N; Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Sección Biomatemática, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Journal of neuroendocrinology [J Neuroendocrinol] 2019 Sep; Vol. 31 (9), pp. e12701. Date of Electronic Publication: 2019 Mar 13.
Typ publikacji :
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Imprint Name(s) :
Publication: <2010->: Malden, MA : Wiley & Sons
Original Publication: Eynsham, Oxon, UK : Oxford University Press, c1989-
MeSH Terms :
Amygdala/physiology ; Animals ; Animals, Newborn ; Female ; Male ; Nucleus Accumbens/physiology ; Prefrontal Cortex/physiology ; Preoptic Area/physiology ; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos/metabolism ; Rats, Wistar ; Septal Nuclei/physiology
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Contributed Indexing :
Keywords: behavioural flexibility*; c-Fos immunoreactivity*; lactating rats*; maternal behaviour*; overlapping litters*
Substance Nomenclature :
0 (Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos)
Entry Date(s) :
Date Created: 20190221 Date Completed: 20201013 Latest Revision: 20201013
Update Code :
The maternal behaviour of a rat dynamically changes during the postpartum period, adjusting to the characteristics and physiological needs of the pups. This adaptation has been attributed to functional modifications in the maternal circuitry. Maternal behaviour can also flexibly adapt according to different litter compositions. Thus, mothers with two overlapping litters can concurrently take care of neonate and juvenile pups, mostly directing their attention to the newborns. We hypothesised that the maternal circuitry of these mothers would show a differential activation pattern after interacting with pups depending on the developmental stage of their offspring. Thus, we evaluated the activation of several areas of the maternal circuitry in mothers of overlapping litters, using c-Fos immunoreactivity as a marker of neuronal activation, after interacting with newborns or juveniles. The results showed that mothers with overlapping litters display different behavioural responses towards their newborn and their juvenile pups. Interestingly, these behavioural displays co-occurred with specific patterns of activation of the maternal neural circuitry. Thus, a similar expression of c-Fos was observed in some key brain areas of mothers that interacted with newborns or juveniles, such as the medial preoptic area and the nucleus accumbens, whereas a differential activation was quantified in the ventral region of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the infralimbic and prelimbic subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral and medial nuclei of the amygdala. We posit that the specific profile of activation of the neural circuitry controlling maternal behaviour in mothers with overlapping litters enables dams to respond adequately to the newborn and the juvenile pups.
(© 2019 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.)
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