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Short Communication

Exp Neurobiol 2017; 26(6): 390-398

Published online December 31, 2017

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Maternal Separation Does Not Produce a Significant Behavioral Change in Mice

Shawn Tan1,2†, Hin San Ho1,2†, Anna Yoonsu Song1,3, Joey Low1,4 and Hyunsoo Shawn Je1,2*

1Molecular Neurophysiology Laboratory, Signature Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, 169857, 2Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 117597, 3College of Liberal Studies, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea, 4School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 637551

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 65-6601-1260, FAX: 65-6557-0729
These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: November 20, 2017; Revised: December 7, 2017; Accepted: December 8, 2017

Early life adversities together with genetic predispositions have been associated with elevated risks of neuropsychiatric disorders during later life. In order to investigate the underlying mechanisms, many chronic, early-life stress paradigms in multiple animal models have been developed. Previously, studies reported that maternal separation (MS) in the early postnatal stages triggers depression-and/or anxiety-like behaviors in rats. However, similar studies using mice have reported inconsistent behavioral outcomes. In this study, we sought to assess behavioral outcomes from two different early-life stress paradigms; a conventional 3-hour MS and a maternal separation with early weaning (MSEW) paradigm using C57BL/6J male mice with independent cohorts. Our data demonstrated that both MS and MSEW paradigms did not produce reported behavioral anomalies. Therefore, MS paradigms in mice require further validation and modification.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Early-life stress, Maternal separation, Maternal separation with early weaning, Depression, Anxiety, Emotional memories