Projects per year
Numerous studies have shown that prenatal stress (PNS) can have profound effects on postnatal well-being. Here, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) was used to investigate PNS effects owing to the direct relevance for farm animal welfare and the developing status of the pig as a large animal model in translational research. Pregnant primiparous sows were exposed, in mid-gestation, to either a social stressor (mixing with unfamiliar conspecifics) or were kept in stable social groups. The ratio of levels of mRNAs for corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) receptors 1 and 2 in the amygdala, measured for the first time in the pig, was substantially increased in 10-week-old female, but not male, PNS progeny indicating a neurobiological propensity for anxiety-related behaviour. Mature female offspring were observed at parturition in either a behaviourally restrictive crate or open pen. Such PNS sows showed abnormal maternal behaviour in either environment, following the birth of their first piglet. They spent more time lying ventrally, more time standing and showed a higher frequency of posture changes. They were also more reactive towards their piglets, and spent longer visually attending to their piglets compared to controls. Associated with this abnormal maternal care, piglet mortality was increased in the open pen environment, where protection for piglets is reduced. Overall, these data indicate that PNS females have their brain development shifted towards a pro-anxiety phenotype and that PNS can be causally related to subsequent impaired maternal behaviour in adult female offspring.
|Journal||Physiology & Behavior|
|Early online date||11 Mar 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Apr 2014|
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Prenatal stress produces anxiety prone female offspring and impaired maternal behaviour in the domestic pig'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
Perinatal programming of stress response and nociceptive mechanisms and the welfare consequences
Russell, J., Fleetwood-Walker, S. & Seckl, J.
1/01/06 → 31/12/10
- 1 Article
5α-reduced neurosteroids sex-dependently reverse central prenatal programming of neuroendocrine stress responses in ratsBrunton, P. J., Donadio, M. V., Yao, S. T., Greenwood, M., Seckl, J. R., Murphy, D. & Russell, J. A., 14 Jan 2015, In: Journal of Neuroscience. 35, 2, p. 666-677
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
- Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies - Senior Lecturer in Animal Science
- Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems
Person: Academic: Research Active , Academic: Research Active (Research Assistant)