Introduction: The medial preoptic area (MPOA) is a region classically associated with maternal behavior. Only during lactation, immunopositive neurons for the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are present in MPOA. Also during lactation, an increase in the circulating levels of adrenal steroids occurs resulting in a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. Removal of the adrenal glands is able to reverse this decrease in neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Objective: Evaluate the effect of unilateral adrenalectomy on MCH neurons into MPOA in lactating rats. The Long-Evans females will be divided into two groups: adrenalectomized (ADX) and sham, which will be subdivided into postpartum days 5 (PPD5), 12 (PPD12) and 19 (PPD19). Preliminary Results: In our first experiment, we observed an increase in the number of MCH immunoreactive neurons into MPOA after the unilateral adrenalectomy procedure compared to the control group.
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