Chronic prenatal restraint stress induced memory impairment in passive avoidance task in post weaned male and female wistar rats

Saju Binu Cherian, K. L. Bairy, Muddanna S. Rao

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11 Citations (Scopus)


With a view to examine the effect of chronic maternal stress on cognitive function in the offspring during young age, pregnant Wistar rats were subjected to restraint stress from embryonic day 11 till delivery. Male and female pups born to these stressed rats were subjected to passive avoidance test on postnatal day 30 and 31. Results were compared with rats of the same age and sex born to control mothers, which were not stressed. The results showed that prenatal maternal restraint stress impairs the memory retention during young age in both sexes. The memory retention deficit induced by maternal restraint stress was evident in the decreased latency to enter the dark compartment of passive avoidance apparatus by the rats born to stressed mothers. The observed behavioral deficit may be due to the insult of stress on the developing hippocampus, a structure of the brain concerned with learning and memory. The results suggest that prolonged prenatal stress leads to long lasting malfunction in the behavioral development during young age in both male and female young rats. However when compared to their respective stress naïve controls, it seems evident that prenatal restraint stress has a less effect on females which could be due to their oesterogenic effects. These data reinforce the view that prenatal stress affects cognitive development in a sex-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-899
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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