Maternal Deprivation Induces Depressive-like Behaviour and Alters Neurotrophin Levels in the Rat Brain
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The present study was aimed to evaluate the behavioral and molecular effects of maternal deprivation in adult rats. To this aim, male rats deprived and non-deprived were assessed in the forced swimming and open-field tests in adult phase. In addition adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH) levels was assessed in serum and brain-derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and nerve growth factor (NGF) protein levels were assessed in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. We observed that maternal deprivation increased immobility time, and decreased climbing time, without affecting locomotor activity. ACTH circulating levels were increased in maternal deprived rats. Additionally, BDNF protein levels were reduced in the amygdala and NT-3 and NGF were reduced in both hippocampus and amygdala in maternal deprived rats, compared to control group. In conclusion, our results support the idea that behavioral, ACTH circulating levels and neurotrophins levels altered in maternal deprivation model could contribute to stress-related diseases, such as depression.
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