Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack Of 'Happiness Hormone' Serotonin In Brain Causes Impaired Maternal Behavior In Mice

Date:
June 23, 2009
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
A lack of serotonin, commonly known as the "happiness hormone," in the brain slows the growth of mice after birth and is responsible for impaired maternal behavior later in life. Researchers also discovered that the presence of serotonin in the brain is not crucial for the survival of the animals.

A lack of serotonin, commonly known as the "happiness hormone", in the brain slows the growth of mice after birth and is responsible for impaired maternal behavior later in life. This was the result of research conducted by Dr. Natalia Alenina, Dana Kikic, and Professor Michael Bader of the Max Delbrόck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany. At the same time, the researchers discovered that the presence of serotonin in the brain is not crucial for the survival of the animals.

Furthermore, they were able to confirm that there are two strictly separate pathways of serotonin production: One gene is responsible for the formation of serotonin in the brain, another gene for the production of the hormone in the body.

The researchers "switched off" the gene Tph2 in mice to elucidate the function of the gene in the brain. Tph2 produces the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), which is responsible for the formation of serotonin.

After the researchers switched off Tph2, the animals produced almost no serotonin in the brain. Nevertheless, the animals were viable and half of them survived until adulthood. However, they needed more sleep during the day and the regulation of their respiration, body temperature, and blood pressure was altered.

The female mice were able to give birth and produced enough milk to feed their pups, but their impaired maternal behavior led to poor survival of the offspring.

The Tph2 gene was discovered by MDC researchers several years ago together with researchers of the Free University (FU) Berlin and Humboldt University Berlin (HUB).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Natalia Alenina et al. Growth retardation and altered autonomic control in mice lacking brain serotonin. PNAS, June 23, 2009, Vol. 106, No. 25, pp 10332-10337

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Lack Of 'Happiness Hormone' Serotonin In Brain Causes Impaired Maternal Behavior In Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623111953.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2009, June 23). Lack Of 'Happiness Hormone' Serotonin In Brain Causes Impaired Maternal Behavior In Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623111953.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Lack Of 'Happiness Hormone' Serotonin In Brain Causes Impaired Maternal Behavior In Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623111953.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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