Effects of maternal separation on the neurobehavioral development of newborn Wistar rats

Jozsef Farkas, D. Reglodi, B. Gaszner, Donat Szogyi, Gabor Horvath, A. Lubics, A. Tamás, Falko Frank, Dario Besirevic, P. Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal models of neonatal stress, like maternal separation, may provide important correlation with human stress-related disorders. Early maternal deprivation has been shown to cause several short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral deficits. Little is known about the early neurobehavioral development after postnatal stress. The aim of the present study was to investigate the development of reflexes and motor coordination in male and female pups subjected to maternal deprivation. Pups were removed from their mothers from postnatal day 1-14, for 3 h daily. Somatic development (weight gain, eye opening, ear unfolding, incisor eruption) and reflex development was tested during the first 3 weeks. The appearance of the following reflexes was investigated: crossed extensor, grasping, placing, gait, righting and sensory reflexes, and negative geotaxis. Timely performance of negative geotaxis, righting and gait were also tested daily during the first 3 weeks. Motor coordination and open-field tests were performed on postnatal weeks 3-5 (rotarod, elevated grid-walk, footfault, rope suspension, inclined board and walk initiation tests). The results revealed that a 3-h-long daily maternal separation did not lead to a marked delay or enhancement in reflex development and motor coordination. A subtle enhancement was observed in the appearance of hindlimb grasp and gait reflexes, and a better performance in footfault test in male rats suffering from maternal deprivation. In contrast, female maternally deprived (MD) rats displayed a slight delay in forelimb grasp and air righting reflex appearance, and surface righting performance. Open-field activity was not changed in maternally deprived rats. In summary, our present observations indicate that maternal deprivation does not induce drastic changes in early neurodevelopment, therefore, further research is needed to determine the onset of behavioral alterations in subject with maternal deprivation history. Gender differences described in this study could help to understand how gender-specific differences in early life experience-induced stress-related disorders appear in adult life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume79
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2009

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Maternal Deprivation
Reflex
Wistar Rats
Mothers
Gait
Righting Reflex
Hand Strength
Forelimb
Life Change Events
Incisor
Hindlimb
Weight Gain
Ear
Suspensions
Animal Models
History
Air
Research

Keywords

  • Maternal deprivation
  • Motor coordination
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Reflex
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Effects of maternal separation on the neurobehavioral development of newborn Wistar rats. / Farkas, Jozsef; Reglodi, D.; Gaszner, B.; Szogyi, Donat; Horvath, Gabor; Lubics, A.; Tamás, A.; Frank, Falko; Besirevic, Dario; Kiss, P.

In: Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 3-4, 29.05.2009, p. 208-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Farkas, Jozsef ; Reglodi, D. ; Gaszner, B. ; Szogyi, Donat ; Horvath, Gabor ; Lubics, A. ; Tamás, A. ; Frank, Falko ; Besirevic, Dario ; Kiss, P. / Effects of maternal separation on the neurobehavioral development of newborn Wistar rats. In: Brain Research Bulletin. 2009 ; Vol. 79, No. 3-4. pp. 208-214.
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