Neonatal respiratory infection and adult re-infection: Effect on glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus in BALB/c mice

O. Wynne, J. C. Horvat, R. Y. Kim, L. K. Ong, R. Smith, P. M. Hansbro, V. L. Clifton, D. M. Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Stressful events during the perinatal period in both humans and animals have long-term consequences for the development and function of physiological systems and susceptibility to disease in adulthood. One form of stress commonly experienced in the neonatal period is exposure to bacterial and viral infections. The current study investigated the effects of live Chlamydia muridarum bacterial infection at birth followed by re-infection in adulthood on hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and stress response outcomes. Within 24. h of birth, neonatal mice were infected intranasally with C. muridarum (400. inclusion-forming units [ifu]) or vehicle. At 42. days, mice were re-infected (100. ifu) and euthanized 10. days later. In males, infection in adulthood alone had the most impact on the parameters measured with significant increases in GR protein compared to adult infection alone; and significant increases MR protein and circulating corticosterone compared to other treatment groups. Neonatal infection alone induced the largest alterations in the females with results showing reciprocal patterns for GR protein and TH protein. Perinatal infection resulted in a blunted response following adult infection for both males and females across all parameters. The present study demonstrates for the first time that males and females respond differently to infection based on the timing of the initial insult and that there is considerable sex differences in the hippocampal phenotypes that emerge in adulthood after neonatal infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1222
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Hippocampus
  • Infection
  • Mineralocorticoid receptor
  • Perinatal stress
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

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