Multimodal early-life stress induces biological changes associated to psychopathologies

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Evidences suggest the contributive role of early-life stress (ELS) to affective and anxiety disorders. Chronic exposure to the same stressor may generate habituation, while the exposure to different and repeated stressors gradually promotes maladaptive plasticity. Therefore, to further understand the effects of heterotypic stressors during early life period, male Wistar rat pups (P1–P21) were exposed to Multimodal ELS paradigm. Results indicate pups did not habituate to multimodal ELS and neonates respond to both physical and psychogenic stressors. Adult rats that underwent ELS protocol showed significant lower sucrose intake, decreased latency to immobility in the forced swim test and increased latency to light compartment in the light-dark test when compared to control group. Although it has been shown that ELS-induced changes in hippocampus can be used as biomarkers, multimodal ELS did not significantly alter BDNF, Tyrosine Kinase B (TrkB) receptor expression or neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Taken together, these findings indicate that multimodal ELS protocol can be an interesting experimental model for understanding long-term psychiatric disorders associated with stress. Indeed, our data with neurogenesis, BDNF and TrkB, and conflicting data from the literature, suggest that additional studies on synaptic plasticity/intracellular cascades would help to detect the underlying mechanisms.HIGHLIGHTSPhysical and psychological stressors early in life promote changes in corticosterone response.Early life stress acutely elicits HPA axis activity and induces persistent behavioral alterations.Anxiety and depressive-like phenotype induced by ELS is dissociated from hippocampal plasticity.

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