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Exposure to environmental enrichment during pregnancy on alcohol effect on maternal behavior and offspring development in mice

Grant number: 17/13756-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal Investigator:Rosana Camarini
Grantee:Priscila Marianno
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Alcohol consumption during gestation is common and constitutes a serious public health problem, as the alcohol overcomes the placental barrier, which may affect the embryo-fetal development. In addition to the direct effects of alcohol exposure on the fetus, the excessive consumption during gestation may also interfere with the maternal care towards the offspring, since the drug appear to disrupt the interaction between the dam and pups, perhaps by decreasing the maternal oxytocin (OT) release. Environmental Enrichment (EE) during pregnancy appears to increase the maternal behaviors directed to the pups and may also be able to modulate the oxytocinergic system. The objectives of the present study are to evaluate the exposure to EE during pregnancy on the alcohol effects on maternal behavior and offspring development. Female Swiss mice will be divided into four groups: housed in standard cages and treated with water; housed in standard cages and treated with ethanol (3 g/kg); housed in EE and treated with water and housed in EE and treated with ethanol. EE exposure will occur only during gestation and the dams will be treated by gavage from day GD15 to PND10, except on the day of birth (PND0). The maternal behavior and plasma OT levels will be evaluated in the PND3 and central OT levels will be measured after euthanasia. The offspring will be analyzed in relation to the physical and reflexological development, anxiety-like behavior, ethanol consumption and social interaction during adolescence and aggressive behavior during adulthood. The data will be analyzed by ANOVA and Newman-Keuls post hoc test. The values of p < 0.05 will be considered significant. (AU)

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