Early life immune challenge - Effects on behavioural indices of adult rat fear and anxiety

Sarah Spencer, James G Heida, Quentin J Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neonatal exposure to an immune challenge has been shown to alter many facets of adult physiology including fever responses to a similar infection. However, there is a paucity of information regarding its effects on adult behaviours. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered a single injection of the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 14 days old and were compared, when they reached adulthood, with neonatally saline-treated controls in several behavioural tests of unconditioned fear and anxiety. There was no effect of the neonatal treatment on performance in either the elevated plus maze, modified Porsolt s forced swim test or the open field test. However, neonatally LPS-treated rats did show significantly reduced exploration of novel objects introduced to the open field arena, indicating an effect of the neonatal immune challenge on behaviours relating to anxiety in the adult.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231 - 238
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume164
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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