Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Postpartum depression spans generations, animal study suggests

Date:
October 8, 2013
Source:
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus
Summary:
A recently published study suggests that exposure to social stress not only impairs a mother's ability to care for her children but can also negatively impact her daughter's ability to provide maternal care to future offspring.

A recently published study suggests that exposure to social stress not only impairs a mother's ability to care for her children but can also negatively impact her daughter's ability to provide maternal care to future offspring.

Related Articles


Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University conducted a transgenerational study with female rats, examining the behavioral and physiological changes in mothers exposed to chronic social stress early in life as a model for postpartum depression and anxiety.

A different male rat was placed in the cage of the first-generation mothers and their newly born pups for an hour a day for 15 days. Consistent with previous research, the lactating mother rats responded to the stress of the intruder with depressed maternal care, impaired lactation, and increased anxiety. The pups of these mothers were also exposed to the conflict between their mothers and the male intruders.

After reaching maturation, second-generation females were mated and compared to a control group where neither the mother nor the pups had been exposed to a male intruder. The second generation mothers that experienced the early life stress also displayed depressed maternal care, impaired lactation, and increased anxiety. There were also changes to hormone levels: an increase in the stress hormone corticosterone, and decreases in oxytocin, prolactin (important to both maternal behavior and lactation) and estradiol.

"The endocrine and behavioral data are consistent with what has been reported in studies of depressed human mothers. The potential with this animal model is that it can be used to study new preventive measures and treatments for postpartum depression and anxiety, and the adverse effects of these disorders on offspring," said Benjamin C. Nephew, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at TCSVM and principal investigator of the study.

The study was published in the September issue of Hormones and Behavior.

"The chronic social stress model used in this study provides insight into how social stress affects both human and animal behavior in the areas of maternal care, anxiety and lactation, and provides a wealth of observations," said Lindsay M. Carini, the study's lead author.

Funding for the study came from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

This work builds off earlier Tufts research in the area of reproductive biology, which includes initial findings on the effects of chronic social stress on maternal behavior which was published in Stress by Nephew and Professor of Biomedical Sciences Robert Bridges, Nephew's postdoctoral mentor at TCSVM.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lindsay M. Carini, Benjamin C. Nephew. Effects of early life social stress on endocrinology, maternal behavior, and lactation in rats. Hormones and Behavior, 2013; 64 (4): 634 DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.08.011

Cite This Page:

Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. "Postpartum depression spans generations, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008132914.htm>.
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. (2013, October 8). Postpartum depression spans generations, animal study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008132914.htm
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. "Postpartum depression spans generations, animal study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008132914.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
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