Neonatal maternal separation alters immune, endocrine, and behavioral responses to acute Theiler's virus infection in adult mice

M. W. Meagher, A. N. Sieve, R. R. Johnson, D. Satterlee, M. Belyavskyi, W. Mi, T. W. Prentice, T. H. Welsh, C. J R Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have established a link between adverse early life events and subsequent disease vulnerability. The present study assessed the long-term effects of neonatal maternal separation on the response to Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus infection, a model of multiple sclerosis. Balb/cJ mouse pups were separated from their dam for 180-min/day (180-min MS), 15-min/day (15-min MS), or left undisturbed from postnatal days 2-14. During adolescence, mice were infected with Theiler's virus and sacrificed at days 14, 21, or 35 post-infection. Prolonged 180-min MS increased viral load and delayed viral clearance in the spinal cords of males and females, whereas brief 15-min MS increased the rate of viral clearance in females. The 15-min and 180-min MS mice exhibited blunted corticosterone responses during infection, suggesting that reduced HPA sensitivity may have altered the immune response to infection. These findings demonstrate that early life events alter vulnerability to CNS infection later in life. Therefore, this model could be used to study gene-environment interactions that contribute to individual differences in susceptibility to infectious and autoimmune diseases of the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-249
Number of pages17
JournalBehavior Genetics
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • HPA axis
  • Handling
  • Maternal separation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Theiler's virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neonatal maternal separation alters immune, endocrine, and behavioral responses to acute Theiler's virus infection in adult mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Meagher, M. W., Sieve, A. N., Johnson, R. R., Satterlee, D., Belyavskyi, M., Mi, W., Prentice, T. W., Welsh, T. H., & Welsh, C. J. R. (2010). Neonatal maternal separation alters immune, endocrine, and behavioral responses to acute Theiler's virus infection in adult mice. Behavior Genetics, 40(2), 233-249. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-010-9333-5