Tieyuan Zhang has completed his PhD from Yonsei University, South Korea, in 2001. He did Post-doctoral studies from McGill University, Canada (2002). He is
an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada. He has published papers in reputed journals including Jneurosci and PNAS.


The quality of parent-child interactions in humans predicts multiple mental health outcomes. We have little understanding of the neurobiological responses to the demands of reproduction in females. We found that high licking/grooming (LG) lactating rats had increased levels of phosphorylated CREB (pCREB) in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and they displayed a reduced population of greater dendritic complexity index (DCI) neurons compared to Low LG mothers. High LG mothers show increased Rem2 and BDNF in the MPOA. There were no differences in Rem2 and BDNF expression in virgin high and Low LG female rats. CREB overexpression in the MPOA of lactating rats increased maternal LG. CREB overexpression in MPOA neuronal cultures associated with a decrease in dendritic complexity. We suggest that CREB activity in the MPOA associates with maternal behavior and changes in dendritic complexity in the MPOA possibly mediated by CREB induced regulation of Rem2 and BDNF. These results provide a novel neuroendocrine basis for individual differences in maternal behavior.