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Article

Sex-Specific Effects of Early Life Stress on Brain Mitochondrial Function, Monoamine Levels and Neuroinflammation

1
Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Institute of Neuroscience of the Principality of Asturias (INEUROPA), University of Oviedo, Plaza Feijóo, s/n E-33003 Oviedo, Spain
2
Department of Basic Psychological Processes and their Development, Basque Country University, Avda. Tolosa 70, s/n E-20018 San Sebastian, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(7), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070447
Received: 18 June 2020 / Revised: 5 July 2020 / Accepted: 8 July 2020 / Published: 14 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Stress and Glucocorticoids in Learning and Memory)
Sex differences have been reported in the susceptibility to early life stress and its neurobiological correlates in humans and experimental animals. However, most of the current research with animal models of early stress has been performed mainly in males. In the present study, prolonged maternal separation (MS) paradigm was applied as an animal model to resemble the effects of adverse early experiences in male and female rats. Regional brain mitochondrial function, monoaminergic activity, and neuroinflammation were evaluated as adults. Mitochondrial energy metabolism was greatly decreased in MS females as compared with MS males in the prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus, and the nucleus accumbens shell. In addition, MS males had lower serotonin levels and increased serotonin turnover in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. However, MS females showed increased dopamine turnover in the prefrontal cortex and increased norepinephrine turnover in the striatum, but decreased dopamine turnover in the hippocampus. Sex differences were also found for pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, with increased levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of MS males, and increased IL-6 levels in the striatum of MS females. These results evidence the complex sex- and brain region-specific long-term consequences of early life stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: maternal separation; sex; cytochrome oxidase; cytokine; monoamine; prefrontal cortex; hippocampus; striatum maternal separation; sex; cytochrome oxidase; cytokine; monoamine; prefrontal cortex; hippocampus; striatum
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MDPI and ACS Style

González-Pardo, H.; Arias, J.L.; Gómez-Lázaro, E.; López Taboada, I.; Conejo, N.M. Sex-Specific Effects of Early Life Stress on Brain Mitochondrial Function, Monoamine Levels and Neuroinflammation. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070447

AMA Style

González-Pardo H, Arias JL, Gómez-Lázaro E, López Taboada I, Conejo NM. Sex-Specific Effects of Early Life Stress on Brain Mitochondrial Function, Monoamine Levels and Neuroinflammation. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(7):447. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070447

Chicago/Turabian Style

González-Pardo, Héctor, Jorge L. Arias, Eneritz Gómez-Lázaro, Isabel López Taboada, and Nélida M. Conejo. 2020. "Sex-Specific Effects of Early Life Stress on Brain Mitochondrial Function, Monoamine Levels and Neuroinflammation" Brain Sciences 10, no. 7: 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070447

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