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The parental brain and behavior: A target for endocrine disruption

Abstract : During pregnancy, the sequential release of progesterone, 17β-estradiol, prolactin, oxytocin and placental lactogens reorganize the female brain. Brain structures such as the medial preoptic area, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the motivation network including the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens are reorganized by this specific hormonal schedule such that the future mother will be ready to provide appropriate care for her offspring right at parturition. Any disruption to this hormone pattern, notably by exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), is therefore likely to affect the maternal brain and result in maladaptive maternal behavior. Development effects of EDCs have been the focus of intense study, but relatively little is known about how the maternal brain and behavior are affected by EDCs. We encourage further research to better understand how the physiological hormone sequence prepares the mother's brain and how EDC exposure could disturb this reorganization.
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Matthieu Keller, Laura N Vandenberg, Thierry D Charlier. The parental brain and behavior: A target for endocrine disruption. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Elsevier, 2019, 54, pp.100765. ⟨10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.100765⟩. ⟨hal-02153617⟩

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