The role of early life stress in development of the anterior limb of the internal capsule in nonhuman primates

Neurosci Lett. 2010 Aug 16;480(2):93-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.06.012. Epub 2010 Jun 10.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) may be effective in treating depression. Parental verbal abuse has been linked to decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter and reduced FA correlated with depression and anxiety scores. Utilizing a nonhuman primate model of mood and anxiety disorders following disrupted mother-infant attachment, we examined whether adverse rearing conditions lead to white matter impairment of the ALIC. We examined white matter integrity using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) on a 3T-MRI. Twenty-one adult male Bonnet macaques participated in this study: 12 were reared under adverse [variable foraging demand (VFD)] conditions whereas 9 were reared under normative conditions. We examined ALIC, posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) and occipital white matter. VFD rearing was associated with significant reductions in FA in the ALIC with no changes evident in the PLIC or occipital cortex white matter. Adverse rearing in monkeys persistently impaired frontal white matter tract integrity, a novel substrate for understanding affective susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety Disorders / pathology
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Internal Capsule / growth & development*
  • Internal Capsule / pathology
  • Macaca radiata
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mood Disorders / pathology
  • Object Attachment
  • Occipital Lobe / growth & development
  • Occipital Lobe / pathology
  • Stress, Psychological / pathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*