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Maternal Effects in Mammals$
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Dario Maestripieri and Jill M. Mateo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226501192

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226501222.001.0001

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The Trans-generational Influence of Maternal Care on Offspring Gene Expression and Behavior in Rodents

Chapter:
(p.182) 9 The Trans-generational Influence of Maternal Care on Offspring Gene Expression and Behavior in Rodents
Source:
Maternal Effects in Mammals
Author(s):

Frances A. Champagne

James P. Curley

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226501222.003.0009

This chapter reviews a large body of recent research showing that variations in maternal care patterns of laboratory rats and mice can alter the behavior, reproductive development, neuroendocrine responsiveness to stress, and maternal care patterns of the offspring, as mediated by alterations in gene expression. The findings show that maternal care exhibits a high degree of plasticity in response to environmental conditions and that the quality of the environment is conferred to offspring by the level of care received. It also suggests that the epigenetic effects reviewed in this chapter may influence evolutionary processes through multiple mechanisms.

Keywords:   maternal care, behavior, reproductive development, neuroendocrine responsiveness, gene expression, environmental conditions, epigenetic effects, evolutionary process

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