Abstract # 104:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 02:15 PM-02:30 PM: Session 11 (North Main Hall C/D) Oral Presentation

Acute Fetal Reactions to Maternal Psychosocial Experience

M. F. S. X. Novak1, M. L. Miller1, G. P. Sackett2 and S. J. Suomi1
1NICHD, NIH, Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2Washington National Primate Research Center, Seattle, Washington
     Prenatal maternal psychosocial experience can result in negative, null or positive changes to postnatal development. There are few data that identify and assess acute effects on the fetus and measuring acute response to stressors is necessary to determine the mechanism of developmental change to the fetus. In this study, the acute cardiovascular responses to mild psychosocial challenges were assessed in four pigtailed and two rhesus macaques and their fetuses (Macaca nemestrina and Macaca mulatta, respectively). Maternal and fetal cardiovascular data were collected via chronic catheters from gestational day 129 through the end of pregnancy for two minutes prior to and during a psychological challenge to the mother. Data were collapsed into 5-second time blocks. Time series models (ARIMA) were fit to characterize individual differences in both the latency to respond and in changes to the autocorrelation structure of the data. For example, after correcting for autocorrelation in the data, acute fetal blood pressure responses were detected in response to 29/31 anticipate capture challenges. T-tests [a=0.05] showed there was no difference among animals in latency to fetal response, averaging 15 seconds. The average latency to peak fetal response was 45 seconds. These data suggest non-hormonal mechanisms for some aspects of the transfer of maternal experience to the fetus. Supported by NCRR RR00166, NICHD 02274, and the intramural research program of NICHD at NIH.