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Effects of Medial Preoptic Lesions on Placentophagia and on the Onset of Maternal Behavior in the Rat

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Document pages: 6 pages

Abstract: Lesions of the medial preoptic area (MPO) were produced through permanently indwelling electrodes 24 hr prior to parturition in pregnant rats, or 24 hr prior to donor-placenta presentation in virgin rats determined in a pretest to be placentophages. The lesions had no disruptive effect on placentophagia in the virgin females. However, MPO lesions did delay the onset of placentophagia, pup-retrieval, and nestbuilding in some parturient rats. In others, lesions produced an impairment (in latency and quality) only of nest-building. None showed any impairment of pup-licking, or in the clear tendency to leave excreted waste away from the gathered pups. These results suggest the possibility of at least semi-independent mechanisms for the various components of maternal behavior.

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