The effects of different rearing conditions on sexual maturation and maternal care in heterozygous mineralocorticoid receptor knockout mice

Jelle Knop, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian Joëls, Rixt van der Veen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sexual and social development is affected by a complex interplay between genetic makeup and the early-life rearing environment. While many rodent studies focused primarily on the detrimental effects of early-life stress, human literature suggests that genetic susceptibility may not be restricted to negative environments; it may also enhance the beneficial effects of positive rearing conditions. To examine this interaction in a controlled setting, heterozygous mineralocorticoid receptor knockout (MR +/− ) mice and control litter mates were exposed to a limited nesting/bedding (LN, impoverished), standard nesting (SN, control) or communal nesting (CN, enriched) paradigm from postnatal day 2–9 (P2-P9). Offspring was monitored for puberty onset between P24-P36 and, in females, maternal care-giving (i.e. as F1) during adulthood, after which basal corticosterone was measured. Different home-cage environments resulted in profound differences in received maternal care and offspring body weight. In male offspring, LN resulted in delayed puberty onset that was mediated by body weight and unpredictability of maternal care received during early development. In female offspring, rearing condition did not significantly alter sexual maturation and had little effect on their own maternal care-giving behavior. Genotype did affect maternal care: female MR +/− offspring exhibited a less active nursing style and upregulated fragmentation during adulthood, irrespective of early life conditions. Basal corticosterone levels were highest in MR +/− mice with a background of LN. Overall, we found a gene-by-environment interaction with respect to basal corticosterone levels, but not for sexual maturation or maternal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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Mineralocorticoid Receptors
Sexual Maturation
Knockout Mice
Mothers
Corticosterone
Body Weight
Delayed Puberty
Maternal Behavior
Gene-Environment Interaction
Sexual Development
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Puberty
Psychological Stress
Sexual Behavior
Rodentia
Nursing
Genotype

Cite this

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title = "The effects of different rearing conditions on sexual maturation and maternal care in heterozygous mineralocorticoid receptor knockout mice",
abstract = "Sexual and social development is affected by a complex interplay between genetic makeup and the early-life rearing environment. While many rodent studies focused primarily on the detrimental effects of early-life stress, human literature suggests that genetic susceptibility may not be restricted to negative environments; it may also enhance the beneficial effects of positive rearing conditions. To examine this interaction in a controlled setting, heterozygous mineralocorticoid receptor knockout (MR +/− ) mice and control litter mates were exposed to a limited nesting/bedding (LN, impoverished), standard nesting (SN, control) or communal nesting (CN, enriched) paradigm from postnatal day 2–9 (P2-P9). Offspring was monitored for puberty onset between P24-P36 and, in females, maternal care-giving (i.e. as F1) during adulthood, after which basal corticosterone was measured. Different home-cage environments resulted in profound differences in received maternal care and offspring body weight. In male offspring, LN resulted in delayed puberty onset that was mediated by body weight and unpredictability of maternal care received during early development. In female offspring, rearing condition did not significantly alter sexual maturation and had little effect on their own maternal care-giving behavior. Genotype did affect maternal care: female MR +/− offspring exhibited a less active nursing style and upregulated fragmentation during adulthood, irrespective of early life conditions. Basal corticosterone levels were highest in MR +/− mice with a background of LN. Overall, we found a gene-by-environment interaction with respect to basal corticosterone levels, but not for sexual maturation or maternal behavior.",
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The effects of different rearing conditions on sexual maturation and maternal care in heterozygous mineralocorticoid receptor knockout mice. / Knop, Jelle; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.; Joëls, Marian; van der Veen, Rixt.

In: Hormones and Behavior, Vol. 112, 01.06.2019, p. 54-64.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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