Early-life stress induces cognitive disorder in middle-aged mice

Hiroyuki Yajima, Asahi Haijima, Miski Aghnia Khairinisa, Noriaki Shimokawa, Izuki Amano, Yusuke Takatsuru*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Early-life stress can induce several neuropsychological disorders in adulthood. However, the underlying mechanisms inducing such disorders are still not fully understood. Furthermore, the effects of early-life stress on the changes in cognitive function with age are still not clarified. In this study, we used maternal deprivation (MD) to examine the cognitive function in middle-aged mice using a touchscreen-equipped operant chamber. In the visual-discrimination task, the aged (∼1.4 years old) control mice could accurately learn to discriminate between different visual stimuli. In contrast, the correct response rate of aged MD mice increased to ∼60% by day 10; it was still significantly lower than that of the control mice (85%). In the hippocampus of aged MD mice, the expression level of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit GluN1 decreased significantly as compared to that in control mice. On the other hand, no significant difference in GluN1 expression level was detected in young (2.5 months old) mice. These findings indicate that early-life stress accelerates cognitive impairment in middle-aged mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience
  • Maternal deprivation
  • NMDA receptor
  • Touch panel operant task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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