Institutional Scholarship

Oxytocin Receptor Plasticity Following a Hormone-Simulated Pregnancy in Syrian Hamsters: Implications for Postpartum Mood Disorders

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Been, Laura
dc.contributor.author Benedetto, Lauren E.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-04-07T23:48:29Z
dc.date.available 2019-04-07T23:48:29Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/20785
dc.description.abstract Despite the fact that approximately 15‒20% of women develop postpartum depression and/or anxiety, and that the resulting outcomes for both the mother and her child are negative, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of the disorders remain poorly understood. Previous research suggests that ovarian hormone fluctuations as well as changes in oxytocin signaling that occur at parturition and in the postpartum likely play a role in the etiology of these disorders. Given the increase in oxytocin-producing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus following a hormone simulated pregnancy, Experiment 1 sought to examine oxytocin receptor levels in PVN efferents, particularly in the medial amygdala (MeA), nucleus accumbens (NAc), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), and raphe nuclei. Results indicate an increase in oxytocin receptor density in the raphe nuclei among hormone-withdrawn animals as compared to controls, suggesting that the region could be implicated in the etiology of anxiety-like behavior during the postpartum period. Unexpectedly, behavioral results indicate reduced non-specific locomotor ability as measured by the Open Field Test and increased anxiety-like behavior as measured by the Elevated Plus Maze in hormone-withdrawn animals. Experiment 2 sought to explore whether neurodegeneration was responsible for the decreased oxytocin-producing neurons found in hormone-sustained animals. Unexpectedly, cell death is visible in hormone-withdrawn and not hormone-sustained animals, suggesting that some neuroplasticity may be taking place. Overall, these two experiments add to our understanding of the brain and behavior following hormone-simulated pregnancy in hamsters, which may inform our understanding the postpartum period in humans.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.title Oxytocin Receptor Plasticity Following a Hormone-Simulated Pregnancy in Syrian Hamsters: Implications for Postpartum Mood Disorders
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Search


Browse

My Account