5 years ago

Perinatal fluoxetine effects on social play, the HPA system, and hippocampal plasticity in pre-adolescent male and female rats: Interactions with pre-gestational maternal stress

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) are the first lines of treatment for maternal affective disorders, and are prescribed to up to 10% of pregnant women. Concern has been raised about how perinatal exposure to these medications affect offspring neurobehavioral outcomes, particularly those related to social interactions, as recent research has reported conflicting results related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in children prenatally exposed to SSRIs. Therefore, the aim of this work was to investigate the effects of perinatal exposure to the SSRI fluoxetine on social play behaviors and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal system, using a model of pre-gestational maternal stress. We also investigated synaptic proteins in the CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, as well as number of immature neurons in the granule cell layer, as both measures of plasticity in the hippocampus have been linked to social behaviors. In pre-adolescent male and female Sprague-Dawley rat offspring, main findings show that perinatal fluoxetine prevents the negative effect of maternal stress on sibling play behavior. However, perinatal fluoxetine increased social aggressive play with a novel conspecific in both sexes and decreased time grooming a novel conspecific in males only. Perinatal fluoxetine also increased serum corticosteroid binding globulin levels, 5-HT levels in the hippocampus, and pre-synaptic density assessed via synaptophysin in the dentate gyrus. Social interaction was significantly correlated with changes in plasticity in the CA2 region of the hippocampus. Pre-gestational maternal stress exposure resulted in significantly decreased rates of hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptophysin density in the dentate gyrus of pre-adolescent males, but not females. Together, these results further characterize the role of perinatal SSRIs, maternal stress prior to conception, and sex/gender on developing social behaviors and related plasticity in the hippocampus of pre-adolescent offspring.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0306453017304559

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