Former Demas lab postdoc Jess Cusick’s manuscript on the role of maternal stress and the maternal microbiome on offspring development and aggression was recently published in Hormones and Behavior! In this study, Jess showed that female offspring produced by stressed mothers were more aggressive than other female offspring. In addition, female, but not male offspring produced by stressed mothers treated with antibiotics displayed lower levels of aggression, despite both male and female offspring exhibiting changes in gut microbial communities in response to maternal antibiotic exposure. Collectively, her findings suggest that alteration of the maternal gut microbiome attenuates the affects of prenatal stress on behavior in a sex-specific manner.
A link for the manuscript can be found under the “Publications” page and can also be accessed here.