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Maternal treatment with P7C3-A20 protects from impaired maternal care after chronic gestational stress
Behavioural Brain Research  (IF3.332),  Pub Date : 2021-08-25, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113558
Rachel Schroeder, Lynn Nguyen, Andrew A. Pieper, Hanna E. Stevens

Chronic stress during pregnancy harms both the mother and developing child, and there is an urgent unmet need to understand this process in order to develop protective treatments. Here, we report that chronic gestational stress (CGS) causes aberrant maternal care behavior in the form of increased licking and grooming, decreased nursing, and increased time spent nest building. Treatment of CGS-exposed dams with the NAD+-stabilizing agent P7C3-A20 during pregnancy and postpartum, however, preserved normal maternal care behavior. CGS also caused abnormally low weight gain during gestation and postpartum, which was partially ameliorated by maternal treatment with P7C3-A20. Dams also displayed hyperactive locomotion after CGS, which was not affected by P7C3-A20. Although dams did not display a classic depressive-like phenotype after CGS, some changes in anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors were observed. Our results highlight the need for further characterization of the effects of chronic gestational stress on maternal care behavior and provide clues to possible protective mechanisms.