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1- Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran
2- Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:  
Introduction: In the present study, the effects of prenatal stress on spatial learning and memory deficit and its relationship with hippocampal insulin resistance was examined in male and female offspring.
Method: Female NMRI mice were mate with males overnight and the zero day of pregnancy was detected (Gestational day zero-GD0). The pregnant mice were then randomly divided into stress and control groups. The stress group received stress from the GD0 to GD10. On post natal day 30 (PND30) the offspring were divided into for subgroups namely: male-control, female-control, male-stress, and female-stress. Barnes maze (BM) method was used for spatial learning evaluation. Plasma cortisol and insulin levels were measured at the beginning of the experiments. At the end of the experiments, the animals’ brains were removed and their hippocampus was extracted. The hippocampus was homogenized and its insulin and insulin receptor contents were evaluated.
Results: The stressed animals needed more time for reaching to target hole. In addition, they spend more distance for finding the target hole, which was more pronounced in the male offspring. Both plasma and hippocampal insulin content were reduced in stressed groups. Moreover, the hippocampal insulin receptors protein was reduced in the stressed animals. There was a positive relationship between plasma and hippocampal content and memory deficit in the stressed groups.
Conclusion: These results indicated that prenatal stress can induce spatial learning and memory deficit in offspring which is associated with plasma and hippocampal insulin and receptor content reduction (hippocampal insulin resistance) in these animals.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2019/09/14 | Accepted: 2020/11/29

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