Transgenerational disruption of functional 5-HT1AR-induced connectivity in the adult mouse brain by traumatic stress in early life

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Abstract

Traumatic stress in early life is a strong risk factor for psychiatric disorders that can affect individuals across several generations. Although the underlying mechanisms have been proposed to implicate serotonergic transmission in the brain, the neural circuits involved remain poorly delineated. Using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging in mice, we demonstrate that traumatic stress in postnatal life alters 5-HT1A receptor-evoked local and global functions in both, the exposed animals and their progeny when adult. Disrupted functional connectivity is consistent across generations and match limbic circuits implicated in mood disorders, but also networks not previously linked to traumatic stress. These findings underscore the neurobiology and functional mapping of transgenerational effects of early life experiences.

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