*(M-H Kim and J Park contributed equally to this work)
Mealtime changes in pregnant mice revealed impaired neurobehavioral development in mouse offspring. This study is the basis for investigating diseases associated with neurobehavioral development of adult offspring of pregnant shift-working women.
Most organisms on Earth have a biological clock, and their physiological processes are regulated by a 1-day cycle. In modern society, several factors can disturb these biological clocks in humans; in particular, individuals working in shifts are exposed to stark environmental changes that interfere with their biological clock. They have a high risk of various diseases. However, there are scarce experimental approaches to address the reproductive and health consequences of shift work in the offspring of exposed individuals. In this study, considering the fact that shift workers usually have their meals during their adjusted working time, we aimed to examine the effects of a 12-h shift with usual mealtime as a plausible night work model on the neurobehavioral development of adult mouse offspring. In these offspring, early exposure to this mealtime shift differentially affected circadian rhythmic variables and total locomotor activity depending on the timing and duration of restrictive feeding. Moreover, neurobehavioral alterations such as declined short-term memory and depressive-like behavior were observed in adulthood. These results have implications for the health concerns of shift-working women and their children.
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