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ΔFosB and the Nucleus Accumbens: Explanations for Peripartum Mood Disorders

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dc.contributor.advisor Been, Laura Valentine, Alissa 2019-09-03T15:42:25Z 2019-09-03T15:42:25Z 2019
dc.description.abstract Current research fails to determine the underlying neurological explanations of peripartum mood disorder (PMD) and its many behavioral components. In particular, peripartum anxiety behavior has been found to have increased rates compared to depression-like behavior. Yet, research efforts continue to concentrate on understanding postpartum depression. This has led to a significant gap in current literature, and its inability to explain peripartum anxiety and PMD as a whole. Therefore, the present study focused on peripartum anxiety-like behavior, and its relationship with changes in nucleus accumbens (NAc) neuroplasticity, specifically the transcription factor ΔFosB. Utilizing a hormone-simulated pregnancy model, we assessed anxiety behaviors in 21 female mice using the Elevated Plus Maze and Open Field Test. Prior to behavioral testing, mice were injected with one of two viral vectors, leading either to inhibited or undisturbed ΔFosB accumulation. This allowed us to investigate how ΔFosB impacts the exhibition of peripartum anxiety. Our trends suggest that ΔFosB accumulation during pregnancy is most impactful on peripartum anxiety-like behavior, but estrogen withdrawal after delivery is more influential on the postpartum anxiety behavior phenotype. These results are the first step towards gaining a comprehensive understanding of PMD’s manifestation in the brain, and contributes to a growing body of literature supporting increased educational and diagnostic tools to respond to peripartum anxiety-related disorders.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Postpartum depression
dc.subject.lcsh Transcription factors
dc.subject.lcsh Nucleus accumbens
dc.subject.lcsh Anxiety disorders
dc.title ΔFosB and the Nucleus Accumbens: Explanations for Peripartum Mood Disorders
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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