Enduring good memories of infant trauma: Rescue of adult neurobehavioral deficits via amygdala serotonin and corticosterone interaction
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 3, 881-886 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Children form a strong attachment to their caregiver-even when that caretaker is abusive. Paradoxically, despite the trauma experienced within this relationship, the child develops a preference for trauma-linked cues-a phenomenon known as trauma bonding. Although infant trauma compromises neurobehavioral development, the mechanisms underlying the interaction between infant trauma bonding (i.e., learned preference for trauma cues) and the long-term effects of trauma (i.e., depressive-like behavior, amygdala dysfunction) are unknown. We modeled infant trauma bonding by using odor-shock conditioning in rat pups, which engages the attachment system and produces a life-long preference for the odor that was paired with shock. In adulthood, this trauma-linked odor rescues depressive-like behavior and amygdala dysfunction, reduces corticosterone (CORT) levels, and exerts repair-related changes at the molecular level. Amygdala microarray after rescue implicates serotonin (5-HT) and glucocorticoids (GCs), and a causal role was verified through microinfusions. Blocking amygdala 5-HT eliminates the rescue effect; increasing amygdala 5-HT and blocking systemic CORT mimics it. Our findings suggest that infant trauma cues share properties with antidepressants and safety signals and provide insight into mechanisms by which infant trauma memories remain powerful throughout life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Academy of Sciences , 2015. Vol. 112, no 3, 881-886 p.
infant trauma; amygdala; serotonin; depression; safety signal
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114582DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1416065112ISI: 000348040700063PubMedID: 25561533OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-114582DiVA: diva2:791450
Funding Agencies|National Science Foundation [DGE-1137475]; [NIH-MH091451]; [NIH-DC009910]; [NIH-MH80603]2015-02-272015-02-262015-02-27