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日本研究揭示促進雄鼠育兒行為的腦部機制

2022年04月22日08:26  來源:新華社
 
原標題:日本研究揭示促進雄鼠育兒行為的腦部機制

  新華社北京4月21日電 日本理化學研究所一個研究小組近日在美國《神經元》雜志網絡版發表論文說,他們找到了雄鼠開始育兒行為時腦神經回路發生的關鍵變化,這一發現有望幫助人們理解人類男性的育兒行為。

  近年來,促進父親參與育兒已成全世界范圍的一個重要社會課題,理化學研究所的這項研究以雄鼠為對象,試圖從動物行為學和神經科學的角度來理解雄性動物的育兒行為。

  沒有交配經驗的雄鼠對幼鼠會有攻擊行為,而一旦經歷過交配,雄鼠會對幼鼠展現出體貼的育兒行為,比如用自己的身體溫暖幼鼠,或者將跑出窩的幼鼠找回來等。

  此前的研究顯示,下丘腦室旁核合成的催產素會影響雄性動物的育兒行為。研究人員在本項研究中就著眼于室旁核中合成催產素的神經元。他們培育了一些特殊的雄鼠,這些雄鼠的部分基因被敲除,導致其室旁核合成催產素的神經元喪失了合成這種激素的能力。

  研究人員發現,經基因改造而體內無法合成催產素的雄鼠多數開始無視幼鼠,只有少部分展現出育兒行為。反之,研究人員用遺傳藥理學方法人為使未經歷過交配的雄鼠體內相關神經元活躍起來產生催產素,那么這些雄鼠就會停止對幼鼠的攻擊行為,轉而展現出育兒行為。

  此外,研究人員還觀察到,當上父親的雄鼠大腦中特定的神經輸入產生了變化,這種變化使它們體內合成催產素的神經元更容易活躍。

  研究小組計劃在已有成果基礎上開展進一步研究,并希望這些研究能成為未來探索人類育兒行為的神經科學基礎。

(責編:許文金、陳建軍)
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