Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Postpartum Anxiety Delays Puberty In Offspring

Date:
June 14, 2009
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Hormonal changes early in pregnancy cause maternal postpartum anxiety and behavior changes that can lead to a delayed onset of puberty in both birth and adoptive daughters, according to a new study conducted in mice.

Hormonal changes early in pregnancy cause maternal postpartum anxiety and behavior changes that can lead to a delayed onset of puberty in both birth and adoptive daughters, according to a new study conducted in mice.

The results will be presented Wednesday at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Women have an increased rate of anxiety during pregnancy and for 2 years after giving birth, said the study's lead author, Caroline Larsen, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

"Postpartum anxiety disorders are poorly understood and difficult to treat," Larsen said. "There is growing evidence that untreated anxiety disorder during pregnancy may contribute to premature birth and also can have major and lasting adverse effects on the infant's development and behavior."

Prolactin is a hormone that may protect against anxiety. Recently Larsen and her co-workers found that mice with induced low levels of prolactin in early pregnancy displayed substantial anxiety after they gave birth. Because the researchers also noted that daughters of the anxious mothers had delayed onset of puberty, they conducted the current study to learn what causes this late physical transition to sexual maturation.

Daughters of female mice made anxious by low prolactin were raised either by their birth mother or by a mouse who was not anxious (control mother). Another group consisted of daughters of nonanxious mice, and these mice were raised by either a control mother or an anxious mother. There were at least six mice in each of the four groups. The researchers determined onset of puberty by examining when the vagina opened and noting the time of first estrus (equivalent to the first menstrual cycle in humans).

"Remarkably, puberty was still delayed even if the daughters of anxious mothers were raised by nonanxious mice," Larsen said. "And delayed puberty also occurred in daughters born to nonanxious mothers who were raised by anxious mothers."

This result demonstrates that hormonal changes in early pregnancy, as well as changes in maternal behavior caused by these hormone changes, can alter brain development in the offspring and delay puberty, she explained. Larsen believes that their work, with further study, may translate to people.

"Finding the hormonal mechanisms that trigger the timing of puberty in mice may help identify potential targets for the prevention and treatment of delayed or early puberty in humans," she said.

Late puberty in humans is linked to shortened height and psychological problems that can persist into adulthood.

The University of Otago helped fund this study, as did a grant from the New Zealand Lottery Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Postpartum Anxiety Delays Puberty In Offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124424.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2009, June 14). Postpartum Anxiety Delays Puberty In Offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124424.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Postpartum Anxiety Delays Puberty In Offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124424.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins