Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Michael Hennessy (Advisor), Larry Ream (Committee Member), Patricia Schiml (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Maternal separation has been shown to promote the onset of adult depression. This early life stressor produces a biphasic response marked by an active "protest" phase followed by a passive "despair" phase in humans and other species. In infant guinea pigs, active phase behaviors include increased locomotion and distress vocalizations, whereas the passive phase is marked by depressive-like behaviors including a crouch stance, eye closure and piloerection. Separation elicits physiological responses including increased core body temperature and proinflammatory cytokine expression suggesting fever. Angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARB's) inhibit inflammation both peripherally and centrally following peripheral administration. The goal of the present study is to determine the effects the ARB blocker Losartan (Cozaar) on passive behavior and sensitization in the guinea pig. Subjects were separated into four groups: Losartan (LSEP), Vehicle (VSEP), Separated (SEP) and Undisturbed (UND). Peripheral administration was provided to LSEP and VSEP groups before the first test. Although the results of this study provided evidence of sensitization in guinea pig pups, Losartan did not decrease depressive like behavior or sensitization upon repeated maternal separations

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Physiology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Anatomy Commons