Results over the last decades have provided evidence suggesting that HPA axis dysfunction is a major risk factor predisposing to the development of psychopathological behaviour. This susceptibility can be programmed during developmental windows of marked neuroplasticity, allowing early-life adversity to convey vulnerability to mental illness later in life. Besides genetic predisposition, also environmental factors play a pivotal role in this process, through embodiment of the mother’s emotions, or via nutrients and hormones transferred through the placenta and the maternal milk. The aim of the current translational study was to mimic a severe stress condition by exposing female CD-1 mouse dams to abnormal levels of corticosterone (80 µg/mL) in the drinking water either during the last week of pregnancy (PreCORT) or the first one of lactation (PostCORT), compared to an Animal Facility Rearing (AFR) control group. When tested as adults, male mice from PostCORT offspring and somewhat less the PreCORT mice exhibited a markedly increased corticosterone response to acute restraint stress, compared to perinatal AFR controls. Aberrant persistence of adolescence-typical increased interest towards novel social stimuli and somewhat deficient emotional contagion also characterised profiles in both perinatal-CORT groups. Intranasal oxytocin (0 or 20.0 µg/kg) generally managed to reduce the stress response and restore a regular behavioural phenotype. Alterations in density of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors, oxytocin and µ- and κ-opioid receptors were found. Changes differed as a function of brain areas and the specific age window of perinatal aberrant stimulation of the HPA axis. Present results provided experimental evidence in a translational mouse model that precocious adversity represents a risk factor predisposing to the development of psychopathological behaviour.

Aberrant early in life stimulation of the stress-response system affects emotional contagion and oxytocin regulation in adult male mice / Laviola, Giovanni; Busdraghi, LUDOVICA MARIA; Meschino, Noemi; Petrella, Carla; Fiore, Marco. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. - ISSN 1422-0067. - 22:9(2021). [10.3390/ijms22095039]

Aberrant early in life stimulation of the stress-response system affects emotional contagion and oxytocin regulation in adult male mice

Ludovica Maria Busdraghi
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Noemi Meschino
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Carla Petrella;
2021

Abstract

Results over the last decades have provided evidence suggesting that HPA axis dysfunction is a major risk factor predisposing to the development of psychopathological behaviour. This susceptibility can be programmed during developmental windows of marked neuroplasticity, allowing early-life adversity to convey vulnerability to mental illness later in life. Besides genetic predisposition, also environmental factors play a pivotal role in this process, through embodiment of the mother’s emotions, or via nutrients and hormones transferred through the placenta and the maternal milk. The aim of the current translational study was to mimic a severe stress condition by exposing female CD-1 mouse dams to abnormal levels of corticosterone (80 µg/mL) in the drinking water either during the last week of pregnancy (PreCORT) or the first one of lactation (PostCORT), compared to an Animal Facility Rearing (AFR) control group. When tested as adults, male mice from PostCORT offspring and somewhat less the PreCORT mice exhibited a markedly increased corticosterone response to acute restraint stress, compared to perinatal AFR controls. Aberrant persistence of adolescence-typical increased interest towards novel social stimuli and somewhat deficient emotional contagion also characterised profiles in both perinatal-CORT groups. Intranasal oxytocin (0 or 20.0 µg/kg) generally managed to reduce the stress response and restore a regular behavioural phenotype. Alterations in density of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors, oxytocin and µ- and κ-opioid receptors were found. Changes differed as a function of brain areas and the specific age window of perinatal aberrant stimulation of the HPA axis. Present results provided experimental evidence in a translational mouse model that precocious adversity represents a risk factor predisposing to the development of psychopathological behaviour.
2021
early risk factors; stress; social disorders; empathy for pain; HPA; oxytocin
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Aberrant early in life stimulation of the stress-response system affects emotional contagion and oxytocin regulation in adult male mice / Laviola, Giovanni; Busdraghi, LUDOVICA MARIA; Meschino, Noemi; Petrella, Carla; Fiore, Marco. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. - ISSN 1422-0067. - 22:9(2021). [10.3390/ijms22095039]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1673330
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