The Role of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor in Primate Maternal Behavior

Summary

Principal Investigator: Wendy Saltzman
Abstract: [unreadable] DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In women, both stress and a number of stress-related psychopathological conditions, including major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, can lead to impaired maternal behavior and increased likelihood of child abuse. The mechanisms by which stress and stress- related psychopathology disrupt maternal behavior are not known. Both stress and stress-related psychopathology, however, are commonly associated with hyperactivity of the brain's corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) systems. In rodents, stress increases expression of CRF in behaviorally relevant nuclei, and CRF has been shown to disrupt maternal behavior and increase rates of infant-killing. Moreover, elevated CRF concentrations in the brain correlate with impaired maternal behavior in primates. This research will develop the marmoset monkey as a novel primate mode! in which to investigate the mechanisms of stress- related deficits in maternal behavior. In addition, it will test the hypothesis that high levels of CRF can disrupt maternal behavior in primates. The specific aims are to (1) characterize the effects of acute stress and a CRF type-1 receptor antagonist on maternal behavior, (2) determine whether intracerebroventricular administration of CRF inhibits maternal behavior, and (3) characterize the distribution of CRF, CRF type-1 receptor, and CRF-binding protein in the marmoset brain, and determine the effects of acute stress on this system. These studies will elucidate the relationships among stress, stress-related psychopathology, and maternal behavior in primates and will lay the essential foundations for subsequent studies of the effects of both chronic and acute stress on maternal and abusive behavior. Thus, this work will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the neurobiology of maternal behavior in primates, including humans. Relevance: Stress, as well as stress-related mood and anxiety disorders, can impair maternal behavior and increase the likelihood of child abuse; however, the mechanisms are not known. This research will develop the marmoset as a new primate model for understanding the effects of acute and chronic stress on maternal behavior and will begin to identify the underlying mechanisms. Ultimately, this research will have implications for the understanding and treatment of stress-related psychopathology in women. [unreadable] [unreadable] [unreadable]
Funding Period: 2006-09-01 - 2009-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc The neuroendocrinology of primate maternal behavior
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 35:1192-204. 2011
  2. pmc Inhibition of maternal behaviour by central infusion of corticotrophin-releasing hormone in marmoset monkeys
    W Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    J Neuroendocrinol 23:1139-48. 2011
  3. pmc Hormonal and behavioral responses to stress in lactating and non-lactating female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, United States
    Physiol Behav 104:446-53. 2011
  4. pmc Effects of elevated circulating cortisol concentrations on maternal behavior in common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus)
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 34:1222-34. 2009

Scientific Experts

Detail Information

Publications4

  1. pmc The neuroendocrinology of primate maternal behavior
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 35:1192-204. 2011
    ..g., the extent to which these mechanisms may involve changes in perception, emotion, or cognition...
  2. pmc Inhibition of maternal behaviour by central infusion of corticotrophin-releasing hormone in marmoset monkeys
    W Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    J Neuroendocrinol 23:1139-48. 2011
    ..These results indicate that i.c.v.-administered CRH reduces maternal behaviour in marmoset mothers, in both familiar and unfamiliar environments, but does not increase infant abuse...
  3. pmc Hormonal and behavioral responses to stress in lactating and non-lactating female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, United States
    Physiol Behav 104:446-53. 2011
    ..These findings suggest that in contrast to several other mammalian species, lactating female marmosets maintain full behavioral and HPA responsiveness to stress, at least in the presence of their infants...
  4. pmc Effects of elevated circulating cortisol concentrations on maternal behavior in common marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus)
    Wendy Saltzman
    Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
    Psychoneuroendocrinology 34:1222-34. 2009
    ..As these effects were limited in scope, however, they suggest that other stress-responsive hormones or neuropeptides may additionally play a role in mediating the effects of stress on maternal behavior...