Amplified neurobehavioral and hormonal alterations following the combination of prenatal and postnatal stress in first-time rat
In the present work, we sought to determine the effects of an individual application of prenatal stress and postnatal stress and their combination on the anxious and locomotor behavior of first-time mother rats. Indeed, three batches of rats were exposed to three types of daily repeated stress: one batch exposed to prenatal restraint stress (SC): 01h a day from day 11 to day 19 of gestation, one batch exposed to postnatal mother prenatal stress (SS): 03h a day from the third to the fourteenth postnatal day (JPN), and one batch exposed to combined restraint stress: 01h from day 11 to day 19 of gestation followed by a postnatal mother separation of 03h a day from the third to fourteenth JPN (CSS); a fourth control batch (T) of female rats that did not undergo any type of stress was also part of our study. At postnatal days 15 and 20, the behavior of the female rats in the four batches was assessed using the Open field Test along with the Plus Maze, and at JPN 30, the female rats were decapitated, the blood of which was collected for plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level evaluation. Our findings show that all studied behaviors were very highly affected relative to the results of the control batch after individually applying prenatal restraint stress and mother separation. We noticed an intensified anxious behavior in CSS with a significant increase in plasma levels of ACTH.
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