Single early prenatal lipopolysaccharide exposure impairs striatal monoamines and maternal care in female rats
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Aims: Environmental information received by a mother can induce a phenotype change in her offspring, commonly known as a maternal effect (trans-generational effect). The present work verified the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which mimics bacterial infection, on maternal care and on the activity of related brain areas in F1 offspring, i.e., female rats that were prenatally exposed to LPS.Main methods: Pregnant rats received 100 mu g/kg of LPS intraperitoneally on gestational day (GD) 9.5. Female offspring of the F1 generation were mated to naive males and were evaluated during their lactation period for open field, maternal and aggressive behaviors. Striatal and hypothalamic dopamine and serotonin levels and turnover were also evaluated. Furthermore, astrocyte protein expression in the nucleus accumbens (NA) was analyzed in F1 females to assess LPS-induced neuroinflammation.Key findings: Prenatal LPS did not change open field behavior but impaired both maternal and maternal aggressive behaviors in the F1 generation. LPS exposure also reduced both striatal levels of dopamine and serotonin and its metabolites, but induced no changes in NA astrocyte expression.Significance: We suggested that the observed impairments in the F1 females were a consequence of a motivational change induced by prenatal LPS, as (1) no changes in motor activity were observed, (2) prenatal LPS-exposure was reported by our group to induce motivational impairments in males, and (3) the existence of a strong connection between striatal dopaminergic activity and motivation-oriented activities. The present findings strongly indicate a maternal effect for prenatal LPS, at least for the F1 generation. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.