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Early life adversities are risk factors for later mood and emotional disorders. Repeated separation of infant marmosets from their parents provides a validated primate model of depression vulnerability, producing in-vivo biochemical and behavioural effects indicative of persistently altered stress reactivity and mild anhedonia. Here we report the long-term effect (in adolescence) of this intervention on the expression of synaptophysin, GAP-43, VGluT1, VGAT, MAP-2, spinophilin, and 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors, in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC; supragenual and subgenual areas) and amygdala (lateral, basal and central nuclei). These genes and regions are implicated in the response to stress or in mood disorder. The profile of 5-HT1A receptor binding in ACC was affected by early deprivation, notably in the subgenual region, with a decrease in deep laminae but an increase in superficial laminae. Following early deprivation, spinophilin mRNA was reduced in subgenual ACC. In the amygdala, no significant effects of the manipulation were seen, but expression of several transcripts was sexually dimorphic. There were correlations between expression of some transcripts and in-vivo measurements. The results show that early deprivation in a non-human primate has a selective long-term effect on expression of genes in the ACC, particularly the subgenual area. The results differ from those reported in the hippocampus of the same animals, indicating the presence of limbic region-specific long-term molecular responses to early life stress.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Neuropsychopharmacol

Publication Date





761 - 772


Amygdala, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Behavior, Animal, Callithrix, Gene Expression Regulation, Gyrus Cinguli, Maternal Deprivation, Membrane Proteins, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Piperazines, Protein Binding, Pyridines, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, Serotonin, Tritium