Relationships between maternal behavior of SHR and WKY dams and adult blood pressures of cross-fostered F1 pups

Dev Psychobiol. 1989 Jan;22(1):55-67. doi: 10.1002/dev.420220105.


In this experiment SHR and WKY dams reared genetically identical F1 pups derived from SHR x WKY matings. We found that a composite maternal behavior score was positively correlated with adult blood pressures of the fostered offspring. This replicated a similar finding from our previous study in which SHR and WKY mothers reared their own pups. Unlike this previous study, WKY dams rearing F1 pups exhibited maternal behavior patterns similar to SHR dams. Finally, we found there was no effect of the strain of foster mother upon adult blood pressures of the F1 offspring. These results indicate that some aspects of maternal behavior may change as a function of pup characteristics, and support our hypothesis that the cardiovascular system may be shaped by experiences of early life which are embedded in mother/young behavioral interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Arousal*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Motor Activity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Social Environment*