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BIAL Foundation
DE:"mPFC dysfunction"
Selection Description
Type Title Begin End
DocumentLong-term impact of early life stress on adult social behavior and prefrontal cortical circuits2018

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2016
Location: BF-GMS
2016 Grants
Start date: 2017-01

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2016-264
Location: BF-GMS
264 - The influence of maternal bonding in neuroimmune synaptic sculpting
Duration: 2017-01 - 2020-09
Ana Luísa Cardoso, João Peça, Joana Guedes, Ana Silvestre Cardoso, Ana Viegas, Elisabete Ferreiro
Institution(s): Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
Contents: Contents:
Application form
Research Funding Agreement
Progress report
Final report
Author: Cardoso, A. L.
Secondary author(s):
Peça, J., Guedes, J., Cardoso, A. S., Viegas, A. , Ferreiro, E.
Number of reproductions:
Maternal bonding / Pre-frontal cortex / Synaptic pruning / Neuroimmunity / Psychophysiology

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2016-264.06
Location: BF-GMS
Long-term impact of early life stress on adult social behavior and prefrontal cortical circuits
Publication year: 2018
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
Prolonged exposure to stressful conditions in early life imparts changes to physiology and health and may trigger or exacerbate neuropsychiatric disorders. Overt dysfunction in sociability is also a hallmark of disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia. Likewise, abnormal social interaction in otherwise healthy individuals is itself a trigger for mental health disorders. In addition, for most social animals, the relative position an individual occupies in its social hierarchy strongly modulates psychosocial stress. Early life stress (ELS) induced by maternal separation is acknowledged to have long-term effects on animal behavior and is considered one of the most potent, naturally-occurring stressors. In humans, childhood adversity, neglect or mistreatment is known to increase the risk for psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. In rodent models of maternal separation, behavioral deficits are observed in emotional behavior and stress responses. At the same time, neurological dysfunctions have been identified in both humans and mice exposed to ELS. However, the precise neuronal substrates and mechanisms that traduce ELS into altered neuronal activity and subsequent social dysfunction in adulthood are poorly understood. While the role of stress impacting adult animals and promoting changes to social behavior and social hierarchies is well described, the influence of ELS on adult social hierarchical rank and social behaviors remains largely unknown. Our results uncovered that ELS induces a dysfunction in social hierarchy and social interactions in mice. We observed that ELS mice display a lower social rank when compared to control animals and are more easily defeated in dominant-subordinate competitions. ELS also led to long-lasting functional alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as evidenced by an increased c-fos expression in response to social dominance stimuli. Additionally, neuronal atrophy and increased inhibitory synaptic strength were observed in mPFC neurons from adult mice that experience ELS. In terms of gene expression in the mPFC, we found that the mRNA of Npy1r was upregulated in ELS mice and also in wild-type subordinate animals, suggesting a role for this gene in behaviors regulating social dominance. Together, our data suggests that ELS leads to long-lasting alterations in gene expression and to altered mPFC activity, inducing a subordinate behavior within a social hierarchy. Lastly, we proposed Npy1r signaling as a key modulator of social rank and a potential therapeutic target for social dysfunctions.
Accessibility: Document does not exist in file
Franco, L.
Document type:
Doctoral thesis
Number of reproductions:
Franco, L. (2018). Long-term impact of early life stress on adult social behavior and prefrontal cortical circuits (Doctoral thesis in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine, Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar da Universidade de Coimbra). Retrieved from
Indexed document: No
Keywords: Early life stress / Social hierarchy / Maternal separation / Social subordination / mPFC dysfunction / Npy1r