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Neonatal repetitive pain in rats leads to impaired spatial learning and dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in later life.

Neonatal repetitive pain in rats leads to impaired spatial learning and dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in later life.
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Chen M, Xia D, Min C, Zhao X, Chen Y, Liu L, Li X,


Chen M, Xia D, Min C, Zhao X, Chen Y, Liu L, Li X, (click to view)

Chen M, Xia D, Min C, Zhao X, Chen Y, Liu L, Li X,

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Scientific reports 2016 12 146() 39159 doi 10.1038/srep39159
Abstract

Preterm birth is a major health issue. As part of their life-saving care, most preterm infants require hospitalization and are inevitably exposed to repetitive skin-breaking procedures. The long-term effects of neonatal repetitive pain on cognitive and emotional behaviors involving hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in young and adult rats are unknown. From P8 to P85, mechanical hypersensitivity of the bilateral hindpaws was observed in the Needle group (P < 0.001). Compared with the Tactile group, the Needle group took longer to find the platform on P30 than on P29 (P = 0.03), with a decreased number of original platform site crossings during the probe trial of the Morris water maze test (P = 0.026). Moreover, the Needle group spent more time and took longer distances in the central area than the Tactile group in the Open-field test, both in prepubertal and adult rats (P < 0.05). The HPA axis function in the Needle group differed from the Tactile group (P < 0.05), with decreased stress responsiveness in prepuberty and puberty (P < 0.05) and increased stress responsiveness in adulthood (P < 0.05). This study indicates that repetitive pain that occurs during a critical period may cause severe consequences, with behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances developing through prepuberty to adult life.

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