Presentation Title

The Role of CRF-R2 in Alloparental Care in Mongolian Gerbils

Advisor Information

Jeffrey French

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

7-3-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

7-3-2014 12:00 PM

Abstract

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates stress response and has been implicated in several social behaviors, including parental care. Within the HPA axis, the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRF-R2) has previously been shown to be anxiolytic and may mediate the anxiogenic effects of CRF-R1. Reduced anxiety, in turn, has been associated with increased parental behaviors. However, little research exists regarding alloparental care and the HPA axis. We examined the role of CRF-R2 in alloparental care in Mongolian gerbils, a cooperatively breeding species that provide alloparental care to offspring, using two peptides that selectively bind with CRF-R2, Urocortin II (CRF-R2 agonist) and Astressin2B (a CRF-R2 antagonist). On the day of testing, subjects received a single intraperitoneal injection of either a sterile saline or water vehicle, one of three Urocortin II dosages (3 ug/kg, 30 ug/kg, 100 ug/kg), or one of three Astressin2B dosages (3 μg/kg, 30 μg/kg, 100 μg/kg). Adults were exposed to unfamiliar pups in ten minute trials. Direct and indirect caregiving behaviors were recorded, including grooming, huddling, latency to approach, and time in pup cage. Preliminary analyses indicate that Urocortin II and Astressin 2B differentially influence both direct and indirect alloparental behaviors compared with vehicle and these effects appear to be dose-dependent. Additionally, the frequency and duration of alloparental behaviors appears to be influenced by sex and previous experience caring for younger sibling pups compared with animals without such experience. The preliminary analyses indicate that CRF-R2 mediates alloparental care, possibly by influencing anxiety levels towards the pups.

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Mar 7th, 9:00 AM Mar 7th, 12:00 PM

The Role of CRF-R2 in Alloparental Care in Mongolian Gerbils

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates stress response and has been implicated in several social behaviors, including parental care. Within the HPA axis, the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRF-R2) has previously been shown to be anxiolytic and may mediate the anxiogenic effects of CRF-R1. Reduced anxiety, in turn, has been associated with increased parental behaviors. However, little research exists regarding alloparental care and the HPA axis. We examined the role of CRF-R2 in alloparental care in Mongolian gerbils, a cooperatively breeding species that provide alloparental care to offspring, using two peptides that selectively bind with CRF-R2, Urocortin II (CRF-R2 agonist) and Astressin2B (a CRF-R2 antagonist). On the day of testing, subjects received a single intraperitoneal injection of either a sterile saline or water vehicle, one of three Urocortin II dosages (3 ug/kg, 30 ug/kg, 100 ug/kg), or one of three Astressin2B dosages (3 μg/kg, 30 μg/kg, 100 μg/kg). Adults were exposed to unfamiliar pups in ten minute trials. Direct and indirect caregiving behaviors were recorded, including grooming, huddling, latency to approach, and time in pup cage. Preliminary analyses indicate that Urocortin II and Astressin 2B differentially influence both direct and indirect alloparental behaviors compared with vehicle and these effects appear to be dose-dependent. Additionally, the frequency and duration of alloparental behaviors appears to be influenced by sex and previous experience caring for younger sibling pups compared with animals without such experience. The preliminary analyses indicate that CRF-R2 mediates alloparental care, possibly by influencing anxiety levels towards the pups.