This 2015 French/Italian rodent study found:
“Chronic systemic treatment with carbetocin [unavailable in the US] in PRS [prenatally restraint stressed] rats corrected:
- the defect in glutamate release,
- anxiety- and depressive-like behavior,
- in social behavior,
- in the HPA response to stress, and
- in the expression of stress-related genes in the hippocampus and amygdala.
These findings disclose a novel function of oxytocin receptors in the hippocampus, and encourage the use of oxytocin receptor agonists in the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders in adult life.”
The adult male subjects were:
“PRS rats..the offspring of dams exposed to repeated episodes of restraint stress during pregnancy.
These rats display anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors and show an excessive glucocorticoid response to acute stress, which is indicative of a dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis caused by an impaired hippocampal glucocorticoid negative feedback.
PRS rats show a selective reduction in glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus.”
The researchers cited several other studies they have performed with the PRS phenotype. In the current study:
“Carbetocin treatment had no effect on these behavioral and neuroendocrine parameters in prenatally unstressed (control) rats, with the exception of a reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor gene in the amygdala.
Carbetocin displayed a robust therapeutic activity in PRS rats, but had no effect in unstressed rats, therefore discriminating between physiological and pathological conditions.”
The phenotype showed the ease with which a child can be epigenetically changed – even before they’re born – to be less capable over their entire lifetime. Just stress the pregnant mother-to-be.
http://www.psyneuen-journal.com/article/S0306-4530%2815%2900239-5/abstract “Activation of presynaptic oxytocin receptors enhances glutamate release in the ventral hippocampus of prenatally restraint stressed rats” Thanks to one of the authors, Eleonora Gatta, for providing the full study