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Postnatal Care: The care provided to women and their NEWBORNS for the first few months following CHILDBIRTH.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects: The consequences of exposing the FETUS in utero to certain factors, such as NUTRITION PHYSIOLOGICAL PHENOMENA; PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS; DRUGS; RADIATION; and other physical or chemical factors. These consequences are observed later in the offspring after BIRTH.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Depression, Postpartum: Depression in POSTPARTUM WOMEN, usually within four weeks after giving birth (PARTURITION). The degree of depression ranges from mild transient depression to neurotic or psychotic depressive disorders. (From DSM-IV, p386)Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous mammal, in the postembryonic period, after the major structures have been outlined. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after CONCEPTION until BIRTH, as distinguished from the earlier EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Mice, Inbred C57BLMice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Age Factors: Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Animals, Suckling: Young, unweaned mammals. Refers to nursing animals whether nourished by their biological mother, foster mother, or bottle fed.Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Nerve Tissue ProteinsInfant, Premature: A human infant born before 37 weeks of GESTATION.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of FETUSES.Stem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Fetal Diseases: Pathophysiological conditions of the FETUS in the UTERUS. Some fetal diseases may be treated with FETAL THERAPIES.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Maternal Deprivation: Prolonged separation of the offspring from the mother.Growth: Gradual increase in the number, the size, and the complexity of cells of an individual. Growth generally results in increase in ORGAN WEIGHT; BODY WEIGHT; and BODY HEIGHT.Muscle Development: Developmental events leading to the formation of adult muscular system, which includes differentiation of the various types of muscle cell precursors, migration of myoblasts, activation of myogenesis and development of muscle anchorage.Maternal-Fetal Exchange: Exchange of substances between the maternal blood and the fetal blood at the PLACENTA via PLACENTAL CIRCULATION. The placental barrier excludes microbial or viral transmission.Birth Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual at BIRTH. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.Growth and Development: The series of changes to the shape, size, components, and functions of an individual organism that occur over time as the organism progresses from its initial form to full size and maturity.Rats, Long-Evans: An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Retina: The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the OPTIC NERVE and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the CHOROID and the inner surface with the VITREOUS BODY. The outer-most layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent.Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Critical Period (Psychology): A specific stage in animal and human development during which certain types of behavior normally are shaped and molded for life.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Maternal Exposure: Exposure of the female parent, human or animal, to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals that may affect offspring. It includes pre-conception maternal exposure.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Ultrasonography, Prenatal: The visualization of tissues during pregnancy through recording of the echoes of ultrasonic waves directed into the body. The procedure may be applied with reference to the mother or the fetus and with reference to organs or the detection of maternal or fetal disease.Overnutrition: An imbalanced NUTRITIONAL STATUS resulting from excessive intake of nutrients. Generally, overnutrition generates an energy imbalance between food consumption and energy expenditure leading to disorders such as OBESITY.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.Mice, Neurologic Mutants: Mice which carry mutant genes for neurologic defects or abnormalities.Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Prenatal Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the postimplantation EMBRYO; FETUS; or pregnant female before birth.Weaning: Permanent deprivation of breast milk and commencement of nourishment with other food. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of a mother which affects the health of the FETUS and INFANT as well as herself.Synapses: Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.Rooming-in Care: Care of the newborn infant in a crib near the mother's bed, instead of in a nursery, during the hospital stay.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Maternal Behavior: The behavior patterns associated with or characteristic of a mother.Child Development: The continuous sequential physiological and psychological maturing of an individual from birth up to but not including ADOLESCENCE.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Fetal Growth Retardation: The failure of a FETUS to attain its expected FETAL GROWTH at any GESTATIONAL AGE.Lactation: The processes of milk secretion by the maternal MAMMARY GLANDS after PARTURITION. The proliferation of the mammary glandular tissue, milk synthesis, and milk expulsion or let down are regulated by the interactions of several hormones including ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; PROLACTIN; and OXYTOCIN.Olfactory Bulb: Ovoid body resting on the CRIBRIFORM PLATE of the ethmoid bone where the OLFACTORY NERVE terminates. The olfactory bulb contains several types of nerve cells including the mitral cells, on whose DENDRITES the olfactory nerve synapses, forming the olfactory glomeruli. The accessory olfactory bulb, which receives the projection from the VOMERONASAL ORGAN via the vomeronasal nerve, is also included here.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Retinopathy of Prematurity: A bilateral retinopathy occurring in premature infants treated with excessively high concentrations of oxygen, characterized by vascular dilatation, proliferation, and tortuosity, edema, and retinal detachment, with ultimate conversion of the retina into a fibrous mass that can be seen as a dense retrolental membrane. Usually growth of the eye is arrested and may result in microophthalmia, and blindness may occur. (Dorland, 27th ed)Purkinje Cells: The output neurons of the cerebellar cortex.Litter Size: The number of offspring produced at one birth by a viviparous animal.Oligodendroglia: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system. Oligodendroglia may be called interfascicular, perivascular, or perineuronal (not the same as SATELLITE CELLS, PERINEURONAL of GANGLIA) according to their location. They form the insulating MYELIN SHEATH of axons in the central nervous system.Prosencephalon: The anterior of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain arising from the NEURAL TUBE. It subdivides to form DIENCEPHALON and TELENCEPHALON. (Stedmans Medical Dictionary, 27th ed)Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Mothers: Female parents, human or animal.Breast Feeding: The nursing of an infant at the breast.Bromodeoxyuridine: A nucleoside that substitutes for thymidine in DNA and thus acts as an antimetabolite. It causes breaks in chromosomes and has been proposed as an antiviral and antineoplastic agent. It has been given orphan drug status for use in the treatment of primary brain tumors.Hyperoxia: An abnormal increase in the amount of oxygen in the tissues and organs.Bone Development: The growth and development of bones from fetus to adult. It includes two principal mechanisms of bone growth: growth in length of long bones at the epiphyseal cartilages and growth in thickness by depositing new bone (OSTEOGENESIS) with the actions of OSTEOBLASTS and OSTEOCLASTS.Postpartum Period: In females, the period that is shortly after giving birth (PARTURITION).Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Neuronal Plasticity: The capacity of the NERVOUS SYSTEM to change its reactivity as the result of successive activations.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Sertoli Cells: Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.gamma-Aminobutyric Acid: The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.Brain Stem: The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Sensory Deprivation: The absence or restriction of the usual external sensory stimuli to which the individual responds.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Organ Culture Techniques: A technique for maintenance or growth of animal organs in vitro. It refers to three-dimensional cultures of undisaggregated tissue retaining some or all of the histological features of the tissue in vivo. (Freshney, Culture of Animal Cells, 3d ed, p1)Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutrition of FEMALE during PREGNANCY.Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: A chronic lung disease developed after OXYGEN INHALATION THERAPY or mechanical ventilation (VENTILATION, MECHANICAL) usually occurring in certain premature infants (INFANT, PREMATURE) or newborn infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RESPIRATORY DISTRESS SYNDROME, NEWBORN). Histologically, it is characterized by the unusual abnormalities of the bronchioles, such as METAPLASIA, decrease in alveolar number, and formation of CYSTS.Growth Disorders: Deviations from the average values for a specific age and sex in any or all of the following: height, weight, skeletal proportions, osseous development, or maturation of features. Included here are both acceleration and retardation of growth.Neocortex: The largest portion of the CEREBRAL CORTEX in which the NEURONS are arranged in six layers in the mammalian brain: molecular, external granular, external pyramidal, internal granular, internal pyramidal and multiform layers.Nurse Midwives: Professional nurses who have received postgraduate training in midwifery.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.Parturition: The process of giving birth to one or more offspring.Nestin: A type VI intermediate filament protein expressed mostly in nerve cells where it is associated with the survival, renewal and mitogen-stimulated proliferation of neural progenitor cells.Cochlea: The part of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) that is concerned with hearing. It forms the anterior part of the labyrinth, as a snail-like structure that is situated almost horizontally anterior to the VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH.Hydronephrosis: Abnormal enlargement or swelling of a KIDNEY due to dilation of the KIDNEY CALICES and the KIDNEY PELVIS. It is often associated with obstruction of the URETER or chronic kidney diseases that prevents normal drainage of urine into the URINARY BLADDER.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Interneurons: Most generally any NEURONS which are not motor or sensory. Interneurons may also refer to neurons whose AXONS remain within a particular brain region in contrast to projection neurons, which have axons projecting to other brain regions.Sex Characteristics: Those characteristics that distinguish one SEX from the other. The primary sex characteristics are the OVARIES and TESTES and their related hormones. Secondary sex characteristics are those which are masculine or feminine but not directly related to reproduction.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Neural Stem Cells: Self-renewing cells that generate the main phenotypes of the nervous system in both the embryo and adult. Neural stem cells are precursors to both NEURONS and NEUROGLIA.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Weight Gain: Increase in BODY WEIGHT over existing weight.Liver: A large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates that is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, synthesis and storage of various substances.Dentate Gyrus: GRAY MATTER situated above the GYRUS HIPPOCAMPI. It is composed of three layers. The molecular layer is continuous with the HIPPOCAMPUS in the hippocampal fissure. The granular layer consists of closely arranged spherical or oval neurons, called GRANULE CELLS, whose AXONS pass through the polymorphic layer ending on the DENDRITES of PYRAMIDAL CELLS in the hippocampus.Lung: Either of the pair of organs occupying the cavity of the thorax that effect the aeration of the blood.Cerebral Ventricles: Four CSF-filled (see CEREBROSPINAL FLUID) cavities within the cerebral hemispheres (LATERAL VENTRICLES), in the midline (THIRD VENTRICLE) and within the PONS and MEDULLA OBLONGATA (FOURTH VENTRICLE).Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Dendrites: Extensions of the nerve cell body. They are short and branched and receive stimuli from other NEURONS.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Infant, Premature, DiseasesIntegrases: Recombinases that insert exogenous DNA into the host genome. Examples include proteins encoded by the POL GENE of RETROVIRIDAE and also by temperate BACTERIOPHAGES, the best known being BACTERIOPHAGE LAMBDA.Perinatal Care: The care of women and a fetus or newborn given before, during, and after delivery from the 28th week of gestation through the 7th day after delivery.Mice, Inbred ICROrgan Specificity: Characteristic restricted to a particular organ of the body, such as a cell type, metabolic response or expression of a particular protein or antigen.Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Nerve Growth Factors: Factors which enhance the growth potentialities of sensory and sympathetic nerve cells.Pregnancy Complications: Conditions or pathological processes associated with pregnancy. They can occur during or after pregnancy, and range from minor discomforts to serious diseases that require medical interventions. They include diseases in pregnant females, and pregnancies in females with diseases.Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain: A disorder characterized by a reduction of oxygen in the blood combined with reduced blood flow (ISCHEMIA) to the brain from a localized obstruction of a cerebral artery or from systemic hypoperfusion. Prolonged hypoxia-ischemia is associated with ISCHEMIC ATTACK, TRANSIENT; BRAIN INFARCTION; BRAIN EDEMA; COMA; and other conditions.Growth Plate: The area between the EPIPHYSIS and the DIAPHYSIS within which bone growth occurs.Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials: Depolarization of membrane potentials at the SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES of target neurons during neurotransmission. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials can singly or in summation reach the trigger threshold for ACTION POTENTIALS.Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate: A class of ionotropic glutamate receptors characterized by affinity for N-methyl-D-aspartate. NMDA receptors have an allosteric binding site for glycine which must be occupied for the channel to open efficiently and a site within the channel itself to which magnesium ions bind in a voltage-dependent manner. The positive voltage dependence of channel conductance and the high permeability of the conducting channel to calcium ions (as well as to monovalent cations) are important in excitotoxicity and neuronal plasticity.Motor Activity: The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.Milk, HumanLateral Ventricles: Cavity in each of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES derived from the cavity of the embryonic NEURAL TUBE. They are separated from each other by the SEPTUM PELLUCIDUM, and each communicates with the THIRD VENTRICLE by the foramen of Monro, through which also the choroid plexuses (CHOROID PLEXUS) of the lateral ventricles become continuous with that of the third ventricle.Puerperal Disorders: Disorders or diseases associated with PUERPERIUM, the six-to-eight-week period immediately after PARTURITION in humans.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A member of the nerve growth factor family of trophic factors. In the brain BDNF has a trophic action on retinal, cholinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, and in the peripheral nervous system it acts on both motor and sensory neurons. (From Kendrew, The Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994)Handling (Psychology): Physical manipulation of animals and humans to induce a behavioral or other psychological reaction. In experimental psychology, the animal is handled to induce a stress situation or to study the effects of "gentling" or "mothering".Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Homeodomain Proteins: Proteins encoded by homeobox genes (GENES, HOMEOBOX) that exhibit structural similarity to certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins. Homeodomain proteins are involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION, DEVELOPMENTAL).Pyramidal Cells: Projection neurons in the CEREBRAL CORTEX and the HIPPOCAMPUS. Pyramidal cells have a pyramid-shaped soma with the apex and an apical dendrite pointed toward the pial surface and other dendrites and an axon emerging from the base. The axons may have local collaterals but also project outside their cortical region.Intermediate Filament Proteins: Filaments 7-11 nm in diameter found in the cytoplasm of all cells. Many specific proteins belong to this group, e.g., desmin, vimentin, prekeratin, decamin, skeletin, neurofilin, neurofilament protein, and glial fibrillary acid protein.Cell Lineage: The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.Somatosensory Cortex: Area of the parietal lobe concerned with receiving sensations such as movement, pain, pressure, position, temperature, touch, and vibration. It lies posterior to the central sulcus.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Ependyma: A thin membrane that lines the CEREBRAL VENTRICLES and the central canal of the SPINAL CORD.Fetal Heart: The heart of the fetus of any viviparous animal. It refers to the heart in the postembryonic period and is differentiated from the embryonic heart (HEART/embryology) only on the basis of time.Parvalbumins: Low molecular weight, calcium binding muscle proteins. Their physiological function is possibly related to the contractile process.Morphogenesis: The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.Myelin Sheath: The lipid-rich sheath surrounding AXONS in both the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS and PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. The myelin sheath is an electrical insulator and allows faster and more energetically efficient conduction of impulses. The sheath is formed by the cell membranes of glial cells (SCHWANN CELLS in the peripheral and OLIGODENDROGLIA in the central nervous system). Deterioration of the sheath in DEMYELINATING DISEASES is a serious clinical problem.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.S100 Calcium Binding Protein G: A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Sucking Behavior: Any suction exerted by the mouth; response of the mammalian infant to draw milk from the breast. Includes sucking on inanimate objects. Not to be used for thumb sucking, which is indexed under fingersucking.Prenatal Care: Care provided the pregnant woman in order to prevent complications, and decrease the incidence of maternal and prenatal mortality.Fetal Therapies: Prenatal interventions to correct fetal anomalies or treat FETAL DISEASES in utero. Fetal therapies include several major areas, such as open surgery; FETOSCOPY; pharmacological therapy; INTRAUTERINE TRANSFUSION; STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION; and GENETIC THERAPY.Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Calbindins: Calcium-binding proteins that are found in DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULES, INTESTINES, BRAIN, and other tissues where they bind, buffer and transport cytoplasmic calcium. Calbindins possess a variable number of EF-HAND MOTIFS which contain calcium-binding sites. Some isoforms are regulated by VITAMIN D.Retinal Neovascularization: Formation of new blood vessels originating from the retinal veins and extending along the inner (vitreal) surface of the retina.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Retinal Degeneration: A retrogressive pathological change in the retina, focal or generalized, caused by genetic defects, inflammation, trauma, vascular disease, or aging. Degeneration affecting predominantly the macula lutea of the retina is MACULAR DEGENERATION. (Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p304)Models, Animal: Non-human animals, selected because of specific characteristics, for use in experimental research, teaching, or testing.Glutamate Decarboxylase: A pyridoxal-phosphate protein that catalyzes the alpha-decarboxylation of L-glutamic acid to form gamma-aminobutyric acid and carbon dioxide. The enzyme is found in bacteria and in invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. It is the rate-limiting enzyme in determining GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID levels in normal nervous tissues. The brain enzyme also acts on L-cysteate, L-cysteine sulfinate, and L-aspartate. EC 4.1.1.15.Organ of Corti: The spiral EPITHELIUM containing sensory AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and supporting cells in the cochlea. Organ of Corti, situated on the BASILAR MEMBRANE and overlaid by a gelatinous TECTORIAL MEMBRANE, converts sound-induced mechanical waves to neural impulses to the brain.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Maze Learning: Learning the correct route through a maze to obtain reinforcement. It is used for human or animal populations. (Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 6th ed)Abnormalities, MultipleInfant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena: Nutritional physiology of children from birth to 2 years of age.Telencephalon: The anterior subdivision of the embryonic PROSENCEPHALON or the corresponding part of the adult prosencephalon that includes the cerebrum and associated structures.Gene Targeting: The integration of exogenous DNA into the genome of an organism at sites where its expression can be suitably controlled. This integration occurs as a result of homologous recombination.Histocytochemistry: Study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Hernia, Diaphragmatic: Protrusion of abdominal structures into the THORAX as a result of congenital or traumatic defects in the respiratory DIAPHRAGM.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Gene Expression Profiling: The determination of the pattern of genes expressed at the level of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION, under specific circumstances or in a specific cell.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Embryonic Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS.Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect: A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)Nerve Fibers: Slender processes of NEURONS, including the AXONS and their glial envelopes (MYELIN SHEATH). Nerve fibers conduct nerve impulses to and from the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Nervous System Malformations: Structural abnormalities of the central or peripheral nervous system resulting primarily from defects of embryogenesis.Pulmonary Alveoli: Small polyhedral outpouchings along the walls of the alveolar sacs, alveolar ducts and terminal bronchioles through the walls of which gas exchange between alveolar air and pulmonary capillary blood takes place.Exploratory Behavior: The tendency to explore or investigate a novel environment. It is considered a motivation not clearly distinguishable from curiosity.Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Retinal Vessels: The blood vessels which supply and drain the RETINA.Chlorpyrifos: An organothiophosphate cholinesterase inhibitor that is used as an insecticide and as an acaricide.Developmental Disabilities: Disorders in which there is a delay in development based on that expected for a given age level or stage of development. These impairments or disabilities originate before age 18, may be expected to continue indefinitely, and constitute a substantial impairment. Biological and nonbiological factors are involved in these disorders. (From American Psychiatric Glossary, 6th ed)Infant Care: Care of infants in the home or institution.Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Pregnancy, Animal: The process of bearing developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero in non-human mammals, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Dwarfism: A genetic or pathological condition that is characterized by short stature and undersize. Abnormal skeletal growth usually results in an adult who is significantly below the average height.Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate: Specialized PHOTOTRANSDUCTION neurons in the vertebrates, such as the RETINAL ROD CELLS and the RETINAL CONE CELLS. Non-visual photoreceptor neurons have been reported in the deep brain, the PINEAL GLAND and organs of the circadian system.Gene Deletion: A genetic rearrangement through loss of segments of DNA or RNA, bringing sequences which are normally separated into close proximity. This deletion may be detected using cytogenetic techniques and can also be inferred from the phenotype, indicating a deletion at one specific locus.In Situ Nick-End Labeling: An in situ method for detecting areas of DNA which are nicked during APOPTOSIS. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase is used to add labeled dUTP, in a template-independent manner, to the 3 prime OH ends of either single- or double-stranded DNA. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end labeling, or TUNEL, assay labels apoptosis on a single-cell level, making it more sensitive than agarose gel electrophoresis for analysis of DNA FRAGMENTATION.Ethanol: A clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.