Becoming a mother shifts the activity of the social and motivation brain networks in mice

Published: 14 June 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/spfmdng5dz.1
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Data from two experiments are provided. EXPERIMENT 1. cFos expression in the Socio-Motivational Brain Network in females exposed to pups or buttons; data on pup-elicited behaviours are also provided. Two kinds of females (Virgin or Late Pregnant - LP) were exposed to one of two stimulus (3-day old Pups or Buttons). This is a classic 2x2 experimental design. Each animal occupies a ROW. COLUMNS indicate: - Animal code, female class, stimulus it was exposed to - Data on the different behavioural items registered, or the scores calculated (see STAR Methods) - Density of cells (per square mm of tissue sampled) positive for cFos in the different nuclei of the sociosexual brain network (SBN) - Density of cells (per square mm of tissue sampled) positive for cFos in the different nuclei of the Motivation Brain Circuit These data have been used for Figures 1-3 and, after processing, for the rest of the figures of the paper. Behavioural data were used for Table S1 and, after processing, for Tables S2 and S3 and Figure S2. EXPERIMENT 2. Button-elicited behaviours in Virgin and Late Pregnant females Two kinds of females (Virgin or Late Pregnant - LP) were exposed to buttons. The experimental design mimics the previous experiment. Each animal occupies a ROW. COLUMNS indicate: - Animal code, female class - Number of episodes of sniffing at the buttons during the test - Total time sniffing buttons - Number of episodes of interacting with the homecage mate female - Total time sniffing at the homecage mate female These data have been used for Figure S1

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EXPERIMENT 1. cFos expression in the Socio-Motivational Brain Network in females exposed to pups or buttons; data on pup-elicited behaviours of the same animals. When LP females were in postconception day 17, LP and virgin females were exposed to (randomly assigned): eight 3-4 day old pups or to 8 plastic buttons. Animals had been habituated to the introduction of 8 novel objects (marbles) in their cage for two days. The behaviour of pup-exposed females was video recorded. Ninety minutes after introduction of the stimulus, females were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA) in 0.1M phosphate buffer (PB), pH 7.4. Brains were carefully extracted from the skull and processed for cFos immunoperoxidase using a standard procedure (see paper). 1.1. Behaviour assessment A person blind to the experimental conditions observed the videos of pup-exposed females for the first 8 minutes after pup introduction. Observation sampling consisted of analysing thirty-two 5-second periods (four 5-second periods per minute, separated by 10-second intervals). For each 5-second period, we registered the most maternal behaviour exhibited by the female, according to the following hierarchy: IN NEST, females stayed inside the nest in close contact with pups; RETRIEVAL, females carried the pups to the nest; NEST BUILDING, females gathered pieces of nest material; ON NEST, females were located on the nest, near the pups but not in contact with them; APPROACH&RETREAT, sniffing at a pup out of the nest followed by retreat without retrieval; OFF NEST, females were out of the nest without interacting with pups. Also FEMALE INTERACTION was registered, the subject female interacts with the other female. Re-analysis of the video/audio-recordings allowed identifying PUP-DIRECTED ATTACKS and their latency was registered. 1.2. Image Analysis of cFos-immunoreactivity Specific regions of interest of the cFos-immunoreacted slides were photographed (see text). Using ImageJ (see paper), expression of cFos was quantified in 7 nuclei of the socio-sexual brain (lateral septum -LSV, medial amygdala - MePD; medial preoptic nucleus- MPO, ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus - VMHVL, anterior paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus - PaA; anterior commissure nucleus/anterodorsal preoptic area - AC/ADP; lateral periaqueductal grey -PAG). We also sampled 6 centres of the motivation brain circuitry: anterior and posterior the ventral tegmental - VTAa and VTAp; accumbens shell and core - AcbSh and AcbC, basolateral amygdala - BLA; prelimbic and infralimbic cortex -PrL-IL. EXPERIMENT 2. Button-elicited behaviours in Virgin and Late Pregnant females Virgin or Late Pregnant females were exposed to buttons, as in experiment 1, and their behaviour video recorded for 10 min. Using BORIS, a person blind to the experimental conditions, observed the videos and recorded interaction of the females with buttons (sniffing at them) and inter-female interaction for the first 5 minutes.

Institutions

Universitat Jaume I Facultat de Ciencies de la Salut

Categories

Microscopy, Behavior (Neuroscience), Image Analysis

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