Different effects of prenatal stress on ERK2/CREB/Bcl-2 expression in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex of adult offspring rats

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It has become increasingly evident that prenatal stress and its psychological and physiological concomitants are associated with the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, the mechanisms underlying the prenatal stress-induced offspring’s anxiety disorders remain unknown. We recently reported that prenatal stress enhanced anxiety-like behavior in adult offspring rat, and involved N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits, including NR1 and NR2A. In the present research, using the same prenatal stress model, we measured the ERK2/CREB/Bcl-2 mRNA levels by real-time PCR. Our findings indicated that prenatal stress decreased ERK2 and CREB mRNA levels in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and Bcl-2 mRNA levels in the hippocampus of offspring rat. The results showed that the abnormal ERK2, CREB, and Bcl-2 mRNA levels may be involved in the anxiety-like behavior of adult rats with prenatal stress.

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