Navigation Links
Exposure to young triggers new neuron creation in females exhibiting maternal behavior
Date:12/17/2009

North Grafton, Mass., December 17, 2009 Maternal behavior itself can trigger the development of new neurons in the maternal brain independent of whether the female was pregnant or has nursed, according to a study released by researchers at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. These findings performed in adult, virgin rats were published in Brain Research Bulletin and are available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.08.011.

In the study, virgin, or nulliparous, rats were exposed to foster pups each day until they began to exhibit maternal behavior, including crouching over the young, grouping them, or retrieving them back to the nest. Data from the study showed that the nulliparous rats exposed to pups have increased numbers of new neurons.

The research was undertaken by Cummings School Department of Biomedical Sciences researchers Miyako Furuta and Robert Bridges, who is the head of the Cummings School's reproduction and neurobiology section.

Previous research has found that exposure to young can stimulate maternal behavior not only in rats, but also mice, hamsters, monkeys, and even humans. Increased creation of new neurons, or neurogenesis, has also been shown during pregnancy and lactation in rodents and associated with maternal behavior, but studies analyzing neurogenesis in nulliparous animals exhibiting maternal behavior had not been done. The area of the brain that was the focus of the present study was the subventricular region a region involved in the production of cells that affect odor recognition and possibly recognition of young. Bridges and Furuta found increased numbers of new neurons in the subventricular zone in adult, nulliparous rats that behaved maternally compared with numbers in subjects that either were not exposed to young or exposed to young, but did not behave maternally.

What stimulates increased new neuron production in the nulliparous mothers is not known. One possibility is that the hormone prolactin, which stimulates both the onset of maternal behavior as well as production of neurons during pregnancy, may play a role in the production of new neurons in nulliparous females exhibiting maternal behavior. However, this possibility remains to be investigated. A second possibility is that stimulation received from the young themselves may, in fact, play a crucial role in stimulating maternal neuron production.

"As with all scientific studies, these findings trigger more questions than answers," said Dr. Robert Bridges, section head of reproduction and neurobiology at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. "Next, we hope to determine what role this neurogenesis plays in terms of the female's behavior and physiological processes. Where do these new cells migrate to within the brain and what do they do? For example, do they affect how a female subsequently perceives her young through recognition of baby odors? These are the questions we hope to answer."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Keppeler
508-839-7910
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Secondhand smoke exposure in childhood increases lung cancer risk later in life
2. Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke over a lifetime increased breast cancer risk later in life
3. Exposure to both traffic, indoor pollutants puts some kids at higher risk for asthma later
4. Exposure to lead, tobacco smoke raises risk of ADHD
5. Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth
6. Pitt research suggests EPA pesticide exposure test too short, overlooks long term effects
7. Bisphenol A exposure in pregnant mice permanently changes DNA of offspring
8. Environmental exposures may damage DNA in as few as three days
9. Agent Orange exposure increases veterans risk of aggressive recurrence of prostate cancer
10. Lab study shows THC exposure as adolescents linked to negative effects of THC as adults
11. Prenatal meth exposure linked to abnormal brain development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/7/2017)... March 7, 2017   HireVue , the leading ... companies identify the best talent, faster, today announced the ... Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer as Chief ... seasoned executive team poised to drive continued growth in ... a year of record bookings in 2017. ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2017 Summary This report provides ... KGaA and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Description The Partnering Deals and Alliance since 2010 report ... one of the world,s leading life sciences companies. ... to ensure inclusion of the most up to date ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... -- Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), a leading supplier of biometrics ... has resigned, effective March 3, 2017, as co-Chief ... Treasurer of Aware citing a desire to retire.  Mr. ... the Board of Directors of Aware. ... co-President, General Counsel has been named Chief Executive Officer, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. , March 22, 2017 Good ... that it has eclipsed the 130 million covered lives ... Blue Shield of Texas . With ... the Company continues to enjoy strong payor acceptance based ... its clinical programs and genetic counseling, its industry-leading customer ...
(Date:3/22/2017)...   iSpecimen ®, the marketplace for ... Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference lab ... States , has joined a program offered by ... (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated data available ... announced in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ... being pressured as of late due to the rise of ... has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as ... for identifying new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017   Boston Biomedical , ... therapeutics designed to target cancer stemness pathways, today announced ... Andrews as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 24, ... Chiang J. Li , M.D., FACP, who has led ... ago. Under his leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: