VEGA 2/0024/15

Effects of stress, induced by immune challenge during the gestation in rats, on maternal care behaviour and on hippocampal neuronal excitability in the offsprings        

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Principal Investigator: Eliyahu Dremencov

Duration: January 2015 – December 2017
Coordinating Organization: Centre of Biosciences – Institute of Molecular Physiology and Genetics SAS, Bratislava


There is evidence that children of women which experienced stressful conditions during the pregnancy have higher risk to develop certain brain disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, and autism. One of the common stressors experienced by pregnant women is acute infective illness. Little is known how prenatal infection influences the functioning of offspring brain. In this study, we plan to investigate the effect of prenatal immune challenge resembling infective illness, on maternal care behaviour of laboratory rats and on hippocampal neuronal activity of their pups. The immune challenge will be induced by the administration of bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Neuronal excitability will be examined in hippocampus, the structure related todepression, schizophrenia and autism, and compared between offsprings of rats treated with LPS and control rats. The results generated by this project will provide better understanding of pathophysiology of brain disorderstriggered by prenatal stress.


lipopolysaccharides (LPS), prenatal stress and infection, hippocampal, animal models, primary neuronal culture, neurodevelopment, depression, schizophrenia, autism, maternal care


The specific aims of this project are:

1. To investigate the effect of stress induced by immune challenge in gestating rats on their maternal care behaviour.

2. To investigate the effect of stress induced by immune challenge in gestating rats on the excitability of hippocampal neurons isolated from the brains of their offsprings in the different stages of the life: shortly after the birth and in the age of one month.

3. To identify specific ion channels involved in putative changes in the excitability of hippocampal neurons.


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image Pavlovicova M, Lacinova L, Dremencov E (2015): Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the treatment of depression: focusing on hippocampal G-protein-coupled receptors and voltage-dependent calcium channels. Gen Physiol Biophys 34:353-366.
image Dremencov E (2016): The role of interactions between brain neurotransmitters in pathophysiology and treatment of affective disorders. Human Sport Medicine 16:18-29.
image Dremencov E, Csatlósová K, Durišová B, Lapínová L, Lacinová L , Ježová D (2017): Effect of physical exercise and acute escitalopram on the excitability of brain monoamine neurons: in vivo electrophysiological study in rats. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 20:585-592.
image Dremencov E, Lacinova L , Flik G, Folgering JH, Cremers TI, Westerink BH (2017):Purinergic regulation of brain catecholamine neurotransmission: In vivo electrophysiology and microdialysis study in rats. Gen Physiol Biophys 6:431-441.
image Moravčíková L, Csatlósová K, Ďurišová B, Ondáčová K, Pavlovičová M, Lacinová Ľ, Dremencov E (2017)(2015):Role of serotonin-2A receptors in pathophysiology and treatment of depression. In 5-HT2A Receptors in the Central Nervous System,Guiard B.P. a Giovanni G. Di. (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, ISBN: 978-3-319-70474-6