Effects of chronic prenatal restraint stress on anxiety in post weaned male and female wistar rats

Saju Binu Cherian, K. L. Bairy, Muddanna S. Rao, S. N. Somayaji, K. Ramnarayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Stress in adulthood can have a profound effect on physiology and behavior, but the extent to which prolonged maternal stress affect brain function of offspring when they are adult remains primarily unknown. Controversies exist in literature regarding sexual dimorphism in the effects of prenatal stress on the postnatal cognitive behavioral development. To investigate the effect of prenatal stress on locomotor, exploratory and emotional development, pregnant rats of Wistar strain were subjected to restraint stress from E11 till delivery. Male and female pups born to these stressed rats were subjected to open field test on 21st day of postnatal life. Results were compared with rats of the same age and sex born to control mothers, which were not stressed. The results showed that prenatal maternal restraint stress affected both male and female offsprings during young age. These results suggests that prolonged maternal stress leads to long lasting malfunction of the hippocampus, which extends to and is manifested in adulthood. Prenatally stressed males exhibited higher anxiety levels when compared to the stressed females suggesting that prenatal stress effects are gender- specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-122
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 06-10-2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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