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Maternal deprivation as a possible animal model of vulnerability to psychopathologies: behavioral characterization and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress

Abstract

Decades of clinical and preclinical studies have testified to the major influence that psychosocial stressors exert on the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. In human beings, psychological stress often precedes the onset of depressive episodes, can predict severity and relapse, being associated to a worse response to anti-depressive treatment. Epidemiologic studies carried out in numerous countries with different cultures demonstrate that emotional and physical abuse, parental loss, parental neglect, etc, result in sensitization of the hormonal system involved in stress responsiveness, increasing the biological vulnerability to depression and/or anxiety disorders in adulthood. Several studies demonstrate that individuals with history of adversity during childhood exhibit more co-morbidity between depression and anxiety, in addition to increased risk to develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of exposure to overwhelming stressors in adulthood.Despite the awareness and the knowledge about the risk factors to these psychopathologies, the neurobiological bases of the vulnerability to their development and manifestation are still undetermined and subjected to speculation. The in depth study of the neurobiology of these psychopathologies depends on reliable animal models, in which certain criteria prevail. The main criteria are: 1) Face validity, which purpose is to reproduce the external features of the illness, i.e., the behavioral manifestations; 2) Construct validity, i.e., reproduction of the internal mechanisms that characterize de illness; 3) Etiologic validity, which means that the model must respond to the same triggering factors; 4) Predictive validity, corresponding to the ability of the model to identify efficient treatments. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BARBOSA NETO, JAIR B.; TIBA, PAULA A.; FATURI, CLAUDIA B.; DE CASTRO-NETO, EDUARDO F.; NAFFAH-MAZACORATTI, MARIA DA GRACA; MARIA, JAIR DE JESUS; DE MELLO, MARCELO F.; SUCHECKI, DEBORAH. Stress during development alters anxiety-like behavior and hippocampal neurotransmission in male and female rats. Neuropharmacology, v. 62, n. 1, SI, p. 518-526, JAN 2012. Web of Science Citations: 32.
FATURI, CLAUDIA B.; TIBA, PAULA A.; KAWAKAMI, SUZI E.; CATALLANI, BRUNA; KERSTENS, MARIEKE; SUCHECKI, DEBORAH. Disruptions of the mother-infant relationship and stress-related behaviours: Altered corticosterone secretion does not explain everything. NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS, v. 34, n. 6, p. 821-834, MAY 2010. Web of Science Citations: 43.

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