Early maternal deprivation retards neurodevelopment in Wistar rats
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SourceStress : The International Journal on the Biology of Stress, 8, 4, (2005), pp. 247-57
Article / Letter to editor
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Cellular Animal Physiology
Stress : The International Journal on the Biology of Stress
A single 24 h period of maternal deprivation (MD) in rats has been shown to induce, in adulthood, a number of abnormalities in brain and behaviour that also occur in patients with schizophrenia. However, the short-term behavioural effects of MD have not been studied in detail. Since patients with schizophrenia are characterized by a retardation of normal development, we aimed in the present study to investigate the development of control rats and rats that were exposed to MD on postnatal day 9. Compared to control animals, MD rats showed (1) a reduction in body weight, (2) an increased in reversal latency in negative geotaxis, (3) a delayed eye opening, (4) a delayed emergence of walking and rearing; and (5) a delayed emergence of the behavioural response to amphetamine (amph). On the other hand, MD and control rats responded similarly to the non-competitive NMDA antagonist MK801. These data clearly show that early MD delays development, especially of the dopaminergic system and confirm our hypothesis that MD may represent an interesting animal model for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia.
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