Limits...
The impact of early life family structure on adult social attachment, alloparental behavior, and the neuropeptide systems regulating affiliative behaviors in the monogamous prairie vole (microtus ochrogaster).

Ahern TH, Young LJ - Front Behav Neurosci (2009)

Bottom Line: Finally, we investigated the effects of rearing condition on neuropeptide systems that regulate adult social behavior [oxytocin (OT), vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing factor, (CRF)].In adulthood, there were striking socio-behavioral differences: SM-reared females showed low spontaneous, pup-directed alloparental behavior (P < 0.01) and both males and females from the SM-reared condition showed delayed partner preference formation.While rearing did not impact neuropeptide receptor densities in the ventral forebrain as we predicted, SM-reared animals, particularly females, had increased OT content (P < 0.01) and greater dorsal raphe CRF2 densities (P < 0.05) and both measures correlated with licking and grooming experienced during the first 10 days of life.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University Atlanta, GA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Early social attachments lie at the heart of emotional and social development in many mammals, including humans. In nature, monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) experience considerable natural variation in early social attachment opportunities due to differences in family structure [e.g., single-mothers (SM), solitary breeding pairs, and communal groups]. We exploited some of this natural variation in family structure to examine the influence of early social environment on the development of adult social behavior. First, we characterized the parental care received by pups reared biparentally (BP) or by SM in the laboratory. Second, we examined whether BP- and SM-reared offspring differed in adult nurturing, bonding, and emotional behaviors. Finally, we investigated the effects of rearing condition on neuropeptide systems that regulate adult social behavior [oxytocin (OT), vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing factor, (CRF)]. Observations revealed that SM-reared pups were exposed more frequently (P < 0.01), licked and groomed less (P < 0.01), and matured more slowly (P < 0.01) than BP-reared pups. In adulthood, there were striking socio-behavioral differences: SM-reared females showed low spontaneous, pup-directed alloparental behavior (P < 0.01) and both males and females from the SM-reared condition showed delayed partner preference formation. While rearing did not impact neuropeptide receptor densities in the ventral forebrain as we predicted, SM-reared animals, particularly females, had increased OT content (P < 0.01) and greater dorsal raphe CRF2 densities (P < 0.05) and both measures correlated with licking and grooming experienced during the first 10 days of life. These results suggest that naturalistic variation in social rearing conditions can introduce diversity into adult nurturing and attachment behaviors.

No MeSH data available.


Pup maturation. SM- and BP-reared pups were observed and weighed to obtain maturational measurements. SM-reared pups ventured off the nest less frequently ((A), although this reached only trend level) and weighed less at weaning (B) than BP-reared offspring. SM- and BP-reared animal weights in adulthood were statistically indistinguishable (B). Line graphs represent means ± SEM; bar graphs represent means + SEM. ●/■, BP-reared pups; □, SM-reared pups. †P = 0.071, **P < 0.01.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2742665&req=5

Figure 2: Pup maturation. SM- and BP-reared pups were observed and weighed to obtain maturational measurements. SM-reared pups ventured off the nest less frequently ((A), although this reached only trend level) and weighed less at weaning (B) than BP-reared offspring. SM- and BP-reared animal weights in adulthood were statistically indistinguishable (B). Line graphs represent means ± SEM; bar graphs represent means + SEM. ●/■, BP-reared pups; □, SM-reared pups. †P = 0.071, **P < 0.01.

Mentions: During observations, pups were considered off the nest if at least one pup from the litter had ventured away from the nest using its own power. A simple t-test was used to compare cumulative number of pup-off observations across groups at PND15, approximately two-thirds through the pre-weaning period. This simple pair-wise comparison revealed only a trend, with BP-reared animals venturing off the nest more often than SM-reared offspring (P = 0.071; BP = 6, SM = 6; Figure 2A).


The impact of early life family structure on adult social attachment, alloparental behavior, and the neuropeptide systems regulating affiliative behaviors in the monogamous prairie vole (microtus ochrogaster).

Ahern TH, Young LJ - Front Behav Neurosci (2009)

Pup maturation. SM- and BP-reared pups were observed and weighed to obtain maturational measurements. SM-reared pups ventured off the nest less frequently ((A), although this reached only trend level) and weighed less at weaning (B) than BP-reared offspring. SM- and BP-reared animal weights in adulthood were statistically indistinguishable (B). Line graphs represent means ± SEM; bar graphs represent means + SEM. ●/■, BP-reared pups; □, SM-reared pups. †P = 0.071, **P < 0.01.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2742665&req=5

Figure 2: Pup maturation. SM- and BP-reared pups were observed and weighed to obtain maturational measurements. SM-reared pups ventured off the nest less frequently ((A), although this reached only trend level) and weighed less at weaning (B) than BP-reared offspring. SM- and BP-reared animal weights in adulthood were statistically indistinguishable (B). Line graphs represent means ± SEM; bar graphs represent means + SEM. ●/■, BP-reared pups; □, SM-reared pups. †P = 0.071, **P < 0.01.
Mentions: During observations, pups were considered off the nest if at least one pup from the litter had ventured away from the nest using its own power. A simple t-test was used to compare cumulative number of pup-off observations across groups at PND15, approximately two-thirds through the pre-weaning period. This simple pair-wise comparison revealed only a trend, with BP-reared animals venturing off the nest more often than SM-reared offspring (P = 0.071; BP = 6, SM = 6; Figure 2A).

Bottom Line: Finally, we investigated the effects of rearing condition on neuropeptide systems that regulate adult social behavior [oxytocin (OT), vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing factor, (CRF)].In adulthood, there were striking socio-behavioral differences: SM-reared females showed low spontaneous, pup-directed alloparental behavior (P < 0.01) and both males and females from the SM-reared condition showed delayed partner preference formation.While rearing did not impact neuropeptide receptor densities in the ventral forebrain as we predicted, SM-reared animals, particularly females, had increased OT content (P < 0.01) and greater dorsal raphe CRF2 densities (P < 0.05) and both measures correlated with licking and grooming experienced during the first 10 days of life.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University Atlanta, GA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Early social attachments lie at the heart of emotional and social development in many mammals, including humans. In nature, monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) experience considerable natural variation in early social attachment opportunities due to differences in family structure [e.g., single-mothers (SM), solitary breeding pairs, and communal groups]. We exploited some of this natural variation in family structure to examine the influence of early social environment on the development of adult social behavior. First, we characterized the parental care received by pups reared biparentally (BP) or by SM in the laboratory. Second, we examined whether BP- and SM-reared offspring differed in adult nurturing, bonding, and emotional behaviors. Finally, we investigated the effects of rearing condition on neuropeptide systems that regulate adult social behavior [oxytocin (OT), vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing factor, (CRF)]. Observations revealed that SM-reared pups were exposed more frequently (P < 0.01), licked and groomed less (P < 0.01), and matured more slowly (P < 0.01) than BP-reared pups. In adulthood, there were striking socio-behavioral differences: SM-reared females showed low spontaneous, pup-directed alloparental behavior (P < 0.01) and both males and females from the SM-reared condition showed delayed partner preference formation. While rearing did not impact neuropeptide receptor densities in the ventral forebrain as we predicted, SM-reared animals, particularly females, had increased OT content (P < 0.01) and greater dorsal raphe CRF2 densities (P < 0.05) and both measures correlated with licking and grooming experienced during the first 10 days of life. These results suggest that naturalistic variation in social rearing conditions can introduce diversity into adult nurturing and attachment behaviors.

No MeSH data available.