Neuromatch 3 / / Track 6 / Interactive talk
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Prolactin-induced changes in the primary auditory cortex plasticity

Alba Cáceres Rodríguez

Julio Esparza, Instituto Cajal; Eduardo Martin, Instituto Cajal


During pregnancy and lactation there are multiple adaptive changes in the mother’s brain that
are essential for the survival of the progeny. Clinical and experimental evidences indicate that
prolactin (PRL), present during lactation, can contribute to the development of these adaptive
modifications. While the importance of the endocrine system on the activity of neuronal
network in critical stages of life is well stablished, the role of PRL on the remodeling of the
auditory cortex (AC) in response to sound stimuli emitted by the pups during lactation is still
unknown. Therefore, the aim of this project is to study the modifications on neural activity of
the AC in a model of hyperprolactinemia. To reach this objective, we used electrophysiological
techniques with chronic electrode implants in the primary auditory cortex (A1) in order to record
auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). The recordings were conducted in awake animals treated
with domperidone (as the model of hyperprolactinemia) and in control animals treated with a
vehicle. For the auditory stimuli we used recordings of pup’s vocalizations during lactation
(wriggling calls), as well as trials of pure tones at different frequencies. Our data suggest that an
increase in serum levels of PRL modifies the AEPs registered in A1. Specifically, there is a loss of
the fundamental frequencies within 0.1-20 Hz band of the AEPs following stimulations with
pups’ vocalizations. This result suggests that PRL induces changes in mother’s auditory pathway
that may be relevant to the survival of the offspring.