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  • Early life stress disrupts social behavior and prefrontal cortex parvalbumin interneurons at an earlier time-point in females than in males.

Early life stress disrupts social behavior and prefrontal cortex parvalbumin interneurons at an earlier time-point in females than in males.

Neuroscience letters (2014-02-26)
Freedom H Holland, Prabarna Ganguly, David N Potter, Elena H Chartoff, Heather C Brenhouse
ABSTRACT

Early life stress exposure (ELS) yields risk for psychiatric disorders that might occur though a population-specific mechanism that impacts prefrontal cortical development. Sex differences in ELS effects are largely unknown and are also essential to understand social and cognitive development. ELS can cause dysfunction within parvalbumin (PVB)-containing inhibitory interneurons in the prefrontal cortex and in several prefrontal cortex-mediated behaviors including social interaction. Social behavior deficits are often the earliest observed changes in psychiatric disorders, therefore the time-course and causation of social interaction deficits after ELS are important to determine. PVB interneuron dysfunction can disrupt social behavior, and has been correlated in males with elevated markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, such as cyclooxygenase-2 after ELS. Here, we measured the effects of maternal separation ELS on social interaction behaviors in males and females. Prefrontal cortex PVB and cyclooxygenase-2 were also measured in juveniles and adolescents using Western blots. ELS led to social interaction alterations earlier in females than males. Sexually dimorphic behavioral changes were consistent with prefrontal cortex PVB loss after ELS. PVB levels were decreased in ELS-exposed juvenile females, while males exposed to ELS do not display parvalbumin decreases until adolescence. Early behavioral and PVB changes in females did not appear to be mediated through cyclooxygenase-2, since levels were not affected in ELS females. Therefore, these data suggest that ELS affects males and females differently and with distinct developmental profiles.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-COX2, C-Terminal Rabbit pAb, liquid, Calbiochem®
Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal Anti-β-Tubulin antibody produced in mouse, clone TUB 2.1, ascites fluid