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The effects of maternal deprivation on feeding, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors: the role of Neuropeptide Y

Grant number: 12/20811-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2013
Effective date (End): October 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal Investigator:Deborah Suchecki
Grantee:Alexandra de Sousa Miragaia de Oliveira
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Epidemiological studies have pointed to a high prevalence of comorbidity between anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. In addition, it has been shown that stress during childhood represents an important risk factor for these conditions and there are crucial periods of vulnerability during development in which stressors can cause neurobiological and behavioral changes that last into adulthood. Nevertheless, with regards to neurobiology, relatively little is known of these associated diseases making effective treatment more difficult. In previous studies, our group has shown that rats that undergo 24 hours of maternal privation (DEP) on postnatal days 3 (DEP3) or 11(DEP11) demonstrate increased anxiety as tested by the light/dark box test and the elevated plus-maze. In addition, we observed that animals submitted to this protocol of maternal privation presented slowed weight gain up until adolescence. Recently, we evaluated the growth and weight gains as well as food consumption from birth to adolescence(PND52). Groups that had been maternally deprived of PND3 or PND11 showed a significant reduction in all parameters when compared to control animals. In this project, we will seek to evaluate anxiety and depressive behaviors as well as the mechanisms responsible for the diminished growth patterns and the reduction in food consumption in deprived rats, analyzing peripheral (leptin and corticosterone) and central (neuropeptide Y and receptors) metabolic signaling.(AU)

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