Prenatal stress in the rat alters 5-HT1A receptor binding in the ventral hippocampus

D.L. van den Hove, J.M. Lauder, A. Scheepens, J.H.H.J. Prickaerts, C.E. Blanco, H.W.M. Steinbusch

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Abstract

Exposure of a pregnant woman to physical and/or psychological stress might affect her offspring by promoting the development of various learning, behavioral and/or mood disorders in later life. The S-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors are prominently implicated in the modulation of anxiety and mood-related behaviors. Using a semi-quantitative radiolabel immunocytochemical analysis (immunobinding), we studied the effect of prenatal stress on binding of these two receptor subtypes in the hippocampus of 4-week-old male and female Fischer 344 rats. Levels of 5-HT1A immunobinding in the ventral hippocampus, which is primarily implicated in emotional processing, were significantly decreased in male offspring after prenatal stress. A trend towards a decrease was observed in the ventral hippocampus of females. In contrast, 5-HT1A immunobinding within the dorsal hippocampus, which is mainly related to learning and memory, was not affected by prenatal stress in offspring of either gender. Likewise, no significant differences between control and prenatally stressed rats were observed for levels of 5-HT2A immunobinding in either part of the hippocampus or gender. The observed reduction in hippocampal 5-HT1A receptor binding in male offspring after prenatal stress may have important consequences for adult anxiety- and depressive-like behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
JournalBrain Research
Volume1090
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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