Prenatal restraint stress impairs learning and memory and hippocampal PKCbeta1 expression and translocation in offspring rats.

Brain research

PubMedID: 17291462

Wu J, Song TB, Li YJ, He KS, Ge L, Wang LR. Prenatal restraint stress impairs learning and memory and hippocampal PKCbeta1 expression and translocation in offspring rats. Brain Res. 2007;1141205-13.
Prenatal stress results in various learning, behavioral and emotional alterations observed in later life. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects of prenatal stress are not fully understood. In the present study we examined the impact of prenatal stress (an unpredictable restraint stress) during gestational days 13 to 20 on the performance in Morris water maze and passive avoidance training in 1- and 3-month-old rat offspring. The expression and translocation/activation of protein kinase C (PKC) beta1 in the hippocampus of prenatally stressed offspring were also investigated. One-month-old female and male and 3-month-old female prenatally stressed offspring showed longer latency to find the platform and used the inefficient search strategy in the water maze task and showed lower memory score in the passive avoidance training compared with controls. The expression of PKCbeta1 protein and mRNA in the hippocampus of prenatally stressed offspring was dramatically weakened. In the control offspring hippocampus, passive avoidance training induced the PKCbeta1 translocation from the cytosol to the membrane, which, however, was not observed in prenatally stressed offspring. Our results suggest that deficient signal transduction of PKCbeta1 in the hippocampus resulting from prenatal restraint stress may play an important role in the impairment of learning and memory abilities of offspring.