Long term effects of stress during pregnancy on brain and behavior have been analyzed extensively in recent years. These effects include changes in emotional behavior, a reduction in learning capacity and ability to generate long-term potentiation (LTP) in the offspring. In earlier studies we and others have described a difference in ability to express LTP in dorsal and ventral sectors of the hippocampus (DH and VH, respectively), and its modification by prior stress. We now found that norepinephrine (NE) facilitated conversion of short term to LTP in the normal DH, but not in VH. Prenatal stress (PS) switched the locus of the facilitating action of NE from the DH to the VH. The effects of NE are likely to be mediated by activation of calcium stores. PS also facilitated DHPG-induced LTD in the VH, assumed to be mediated by release of calcium from stores. These observations have important implications for the role of the hippocampus in cognitive and emotional memories.
- prenatal stress
- ventral hippocampus
- Copyright © 2012, Journal of Neurophysiology