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Role of the posterodorsal medial amygdala in predator odour stress induced puberty delay in female rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

X F Li, D A Adekunbi, H M Alobaid, S Y Li, M Pilot, S L Lightman, K T O'Byrne

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12719
Pages (from-to)e12719
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


King's Authors


Puberty onset is influenced by various factors including psychosocial stress. The present study investigated cat‐odour stress on puberty onset and oestrous cyclicity in rats. Female weanling rats were exposed to either soiled cat litter or fresh unused litter for 10 consecutive days. Following vaginal opening (VO), rats were smeared for 14 days to determine oestrous cyclicity. Anxiety‐like behaviour was assessed using standard anxiety tests. Brains were collected to determine CRF, CRF‐R1 and CRF‐R2 mRNA in the PVN and amygdala (CeA and MeA). Cat odour delayed VO and first oestrus, disrupted oestrous cycles and caused anxiogenic responses. Cat odour elicited increased CRF mRNA expression in the PVN, but not in the CeA. CRF‐R1 and CRF‐R2 mRNA levels in the PVN and CeA were unaffected by cat odour, however, CRF‐R1 mRNA levels were decreased in the MeA. The role of CRF signalling in the MeA, particularly its posterodorsal subnucleus (MePD), on pubertal timing was directly examined by using unilateral intra‐MePD administration of CRF (0.2nmol/day for 14 days) via osmotic mini‐pump from postnatal day 24 and was shown to delay VO and first oestrus. These data suggest that CRF signalling in the MePD may be associated with predator‐odour induced puberty delay.

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