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Original Research, Basic Neurobiology, Psychology

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Maternal immune activation accelerates puberty initiation and alters mechanical allodynia in male and female C57BL6/J mice.

The mechanisms that link maternal immune activation (MIA) with the onset of neurodevelopmental disorders remain largely unclear. Accelerated puberty is also associated with a heightened risk for psychopathology in later life, but there is a dearth of evidence on the impacts of maternal infection on pubertal timing. We examined the effects of MIA on reproductive development, mechanical allodynia, and sensorimotor gating in juvenile, adolescent, and adult male and female mice. Moreover, we investigated hypothalamic neural markers associated with the reproductive and stress axes. Finally, we tested the mitigating effects of environmental enrichment (EE), which has clinical relevancy in human rehabilitation settings. Our results show that administration of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) on gestational day 12.5 led to early preputial separation, vaginal openings, and age of first estrus in offspring. MIA exposure altered pain sensitivity across development and modestly altered prepulse inhibition. The downregulation of Nr3c1 and Oprk mRNA in the hypothalamus of juvenile mice suggests that MIA's effects may be mediated through disruption of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. In contrast, life-long housing with EE rescued many of these MIA-induced consequences. Overall, our findings suggest that accelerated puberty may be associated with the deleterious effects of infection during pregnancy and the onset of psychopathology.

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A mobile health + health coaching application for the management of chronic non-cancer pain in older adults: Results from a pilot randomized controlled study.

The rapid growth of mobile health (mHealth) devices holds substantial potential for improving care and care outcomes in aging adults with chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP), however, research evaluating these devices in older adults remains limited.

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