Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural birth -- but not C-section -- triggers brain-boosting proteins

Date:
August 9, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Vaginal birth triggers the expression of a protein in the brains of newborns that improves brain development and function in adulthood, according to a new study. The study also found that this protein expression is impaired in the brains of offspring delivered by cesarean section.

The UCP2 protein is expressed in natural birth.
Credit: Michael Helfenbein, Horvath Lab, Yale University

Vaginal birth triggers the expression of a protein in the brains of newborns that improves brain development and function in adulthood, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers, who also found that this protein expression is impaired in the brains of offspring delivered by caesarean section (C-sections).

Related Articles


These findings are published in the August issue of PLoS ONE by a team of researchers led by Tamas Horvath, the Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Research and chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

The team studied the effect of natural and surgical deliveries on mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in mice. UCP2 is important for the proper development of hippocampal neurons and circuits. This area of the brain is responsible for short- and long-term memory. UCP2 is involved in cellular metabolism of fat, which is a key component of breast milk, suggesting that induction of UCP2 by natural birth may aid the transition to breast feeding.

The researchers found that natural birth triggered UCP2 expression in the neurons located in the hippocampal region of the brain. This was diminished in the brains of mice born via C-section. Knocking out the UCP2 gene or chemically inhibiting UCP2 function interfered with the differentiation of hippocampal neurons and circuits, and impaired adult behaviors related to hippocampal functions.

"These results reveal a potentially critical role of UCP2 in the proper development of brain circuits and related behaviors," said Horvath. "The increasing prevalence of C-sections driven by convenience rather than medical necessity may have a previously unsuspected lasting effect on brain development and function in humans as well."

Other authors on the study included Julia Simon-Areces, Marcelo O. Dietrich, Gretchen Hermes, Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura, and Maria-Angeles Arevalo.The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Karen N. Peart. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia Simon-Areces, Marcelo O. Dietrich, Gretchen Hermes, Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura, Maria-Angeles Arevalo, Tamas L. Horvath. Ucp2 Induced by Natural Birth Regulates Neuronal Differentiation of the Hippocampus and Related Adult Behavior. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e42911 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042911

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Natural birth -- but not C-section -- triggers brain-boosting proteins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090652.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, August 9). Natural birth -- but not C-section -- triggers brain-boosting proteins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090652.htm
Yale University. "Natural birth -- but not C-section -- triggers brain-boosting proteins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090652.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. 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:

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