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Supplementary Material for: Early-Life Stress Perturbs Key Cellular Programs in the Developing Mouse Hippocampus

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posted on 11.06.2015, 00:00 by Wei L., Hao J., Lacher R.K., Abbott T., Chung L., Colangelo C.M., Kaffman A.
Conflicting reports are available with regard to the effects of childhood abuse and neglect on hippocampal function in children. While earlier imaging studies and some animal work have suggested that the effects of early-life stress (ELS) manifest only in adulthood, more recent studies have documented impaired hippocampal function in maltreated children and adolescents. Additional work using animal modes is needed to clarify the effects of ELS on hippocampal development. In this regard, genomic, proteomic, and molecular tools uniquely available in the mouse make it a particularly attractive model system to study this issue. However, very little work has been done so far to characterize the effects of ELS on hippocampal development in the mouse. To address this issue, we examined the effects of brief daily separation (BDS), a mouse model of ELS that impairs hippocampal-dependent memory in adulthood, on hippocampal development in 28-day-old juvenile mice. This age was chosen because it corresponds to the developmental period in which human imaging studies have revealed abnormal hippocampal development in maltreated children. Exposure to BDS caused a significant decrease in the total protein content of synaptosomes harvested from the hippocampus of 28-day-old male and female mice, suggesting that BDS impairs normal synaptic development in the juvenile hippocampus. Using a novel liquid chromatography multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (LC-MRM) assay, we found decreased expression of many synaptic proteins, as well as proteins involved in axonal growth, myelination, and mitochondrial activity. Golgi staining in 28-day-old BDS mice showed an increase in the number of immature and abnormally shaped spines and a decrease in the number of mature spines in CA1 neurons, consistent with defects in synaptic maturation and synaptic pruning at this age. In 14-day-old pups, BDS deceased the expression of proteins involved in axonal growth and myelination, but did not affect the total protein content of synaptosomes harvested from the hippocampus, or protein levels of other synaptic markers. These results add two important findings to previous work in the field. First, our findings demonstrate that in 28-day-old juvenile mice, BDS impairs synaptic maturation and reduces the expression of proteins that are necessary for axonal growth, myelination, and mitochondrial function. Second, the results suggest a sequential model in which BDS impairs normal axonal growth and myelination before it disrupts synaptic maturation in the juvenile hippocampus.