The effects of prenatal dexamethasone exposure and fructose challenge on pituitary-adrenocortical activity and anxiety-like behavior in female offspring
Rauš Balind, Snežana
Article (Published version)
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd.
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Prenatal glucocorticoid overexposure could largely influence pituitary-adrenal activity and anxiety-like behavior in offspring. Our aim was to study the possible potentiating effect of moderate dose of fructose – common ingredient of today’s diet – on prenatal glucocorticoid treatment-induced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis changes. Pregnant female rats were treated with multiple dexamethasone (Dx) doses (3 x 0.5 mg/kg/b.m. Dx; 16th-18th gestational day). Half of female offspring from control and Dx treated dams were supplemented with 10% fructose solution, from weaning till adulthood. Immunohistochemistry, unbiased stereological evaluation and hormonal analysis are used to provide the morpho-functional state of pituitary and adrenal gland. Anxiety-like behavior was assessed using the light/dark box test and the elevated plus maze test. Prenatally Dx exposed females, with or without fructose consumption, had markedly reduced adrenocortical volume (p < 0.05) comparing to controls. Increased basal plasma ACTH level in these females (p < 0.05) maintained corticosterone concentration at control level produced by smaller adrenal glands. In parallel, anxiety-like behavior was shown by both tests used. In conclusion, prenatal Dx exposure cause negative psychophysiological outcome reflected in increased HPA axis activity and anxiety behavior in female offspring, while moderately increased fructose consumption failed to evoke any alteration or to potentiate effects of prenatal Dx exposure.
Keywords:Adrenal gland; Stereology; Programming; Dexamethasone; Fructose
Source:Tissue and Cell, 2020, 62, 101309-
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