Volume 133. The Maternal Brain

1st Edition

Neurobiological and Neuroendocrine Adaptation and Disorders in Pregnancy and Post Partum


  • J.A. Russell
  • A.J. Douglas
  • R.J. Windle
  • C.D. Ingram
  • Description

    The adaptive changes within the central nervous system that prepare the body for the physiological requirements of pregnancy and motherhood are of major significance, and many scientists around the world are involved in elucidating these systems in humans and other mammals. The adaptive changes encompass diverse scientific disciplines, including neuroendocrinology, neuroscience and psychology; and failure of appropriate adaptation in mothers can lead to disorders that have profound and long lasting consequences for individuals and for society.

    This volume contains review articles written by the symposium speakers at a conference held in Bristol in July 1999 entitled: "The Maternal Brain: an International Meeting on Neurobiological and Neuroendocrine Adaptation and Disorders in Pregnancy and Postpartum".

    This was the first conference to address The Maternal Brain, and comprised wide ranging topics from molecular analysis of physiological systems using transgenic animals, through plasticity at the neurotransmitter and neuronal level, to the description of behavioural adaptation in terms of endocrinology, emotionality and its underlying causes, and analysis of psychosis; all in the peripartum period.

    Table of Contents

    List of contributors. Preface. 1. Brain preparations for maternity - adaptive changes in behavioral and neuroendocrine systems during pregnancy and lactation: an overview (J.A. Russell, A.J. Douglas, C.D. Ingram). 2. Physiological roles for the neurosteroid allopregnanolone in the modulation of brain function during pregnancy and parturition (A.E. Herbison). 3. Maternity leads to morphological synaptic plasticity in the oxytocin system (D.T. Theodosis, D.A. Poulain). 4. Oxytocin: who needs it? (T.R. Insel, B.S. Gingrich, M.M. Matzuk, L. Young). 5. Endogenous opioid regulation of oxytocin and ACTH secretion during pregnancy and parturition (A.J. Douglas, J.A. Russell). 6. The maternal spinal cord: biochemical and physiological correlates of steroid-activated antinociceptive processes (A.R. Gintzler, N.-J. Liu). 7. Hypothalamic and limbic expression of CRF and vasopressin during lactation: implications for the control of ACTH secretion and stress hyporesponsiveness (C.-D. Walker, D.J. Toufexis, A. Burlet). 8. Peri-partum plasticity within the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (S.L. Lightman, R.J. Windle, N. Shanks, C.D. Ingram). 9. The neurobiology of stress in human pregnancy: implications for development of the fetal central nervous system (P.D. Wadhwa, C.A. Sandman, T.J. Garite). 10. Alterations in behavioral and neuroendocrine stress coping strategies in pregnant, parturient and lactating rats (I. D. Neumann). 11. The actions of prolactin in the brain during pregnancy and lactation (D.R. Grattan). 12. Regulation of prolactin secretion during pregnancy and lactation (J.L. Voogt, Y.


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    © 2001
    Elsevier Science
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    About the editors

    J.A. Russell

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, UK

    A.J. Douglas

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, UK

    R.J. Windle

    Affiliations and Expertise

    School of Nursing and Division of Midwifery, University of Nottingham, Lincoln Educational Centre, Lincoln County Hospital, Greetwell Road, Lincoln LN2 5QY, UK

    C.D. Ingram

    Affiliations and Expertise

    School of Neurosciences and Psychiatry, University of Newcastle, Leazes Wing, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 4LP, UK