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How to find us prof. dr. J.D.A. (Jocelien) Olivier

Research interests


Our translational animal research is focused on the neurodevelopmental outcomes due to early life alterations. Interactions between genes and the environment play an important role in the development of psychopathology. It is our main goal to address the developmental role of serotonin in developing psychopathology later in life using an advanced animal model for depression (serotonin transporter knockout rat). To address the fundamental issues that underlie alterations due to early life events, we attempt to identify molecular mechanisms underlying these alterations.


Effects of antenatal depression and antidepressant treatment during pregnancy

Depressive symptoms frequently occur during pregnancy and may have a tremendous impact on the developing child. Unfortunately, pharmacological antidepressant treatments during pregnancy can also negatively impact the behavioural development and health of the offspring. In humans it is difficult to discern between the effects of the drug and the effects of the depression itself, therefore it is unclear whether children exposed to antidepressants in utero are at increased risk, and if so, what the underlying molecular mechanisms are that may point to potential solutions. We investigate the molecular mechanisms and behavioral alterations in the offspring that are altered due to antenatal depression, antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, and their combination.



We conduct extensive behavioural experimentation (Emotional, social, sleep and cognition), Physiology (telemetry), pharmacological manipulations (SSRIs), immunohistochemical assessments and molecular analysis (microarray, qPCR, genotyping, DNA methylation, DNA hydroxymethylation, histone methylation).

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Effects of perinatal fluoxetine exposure on novelty-induced social and non-social investigation behaviors in a seminatural environment

Jong geleerd is oud gedaan

The continued need for animals to advance brain research

Antidepressant treatment with fluoxetine during pregnancy and lactation modulates the gut microbiome and metabolome in a rat model relevant to depression

Female rat sexual behavior is unaffected by perinatal fluoxetine exposure

How the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the necessity of animal research

Perinatal fluoxetine exposure disrupts the circadian response to a phase-shifting challenge in female rats

Perinatal fluoxetine treatment and dams' early life stress history alter affective behavior in rat offspring depending on serotonin transporter genotype and sex

Perinatal fluoxetine treatment and dams' early life stress history have opposite effects on aggressive behavior while having little impact on sexual behavior of male rat offspring

Perinatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure and behavioral outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analyses of animal studies

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Pass-on blog Making Connections – Jocelien Olivier on the strategic priorities of the Young Academy Groningen

1 op de 5 zwangere vrouwen krijgt depressie-klachten, mogen zij antidepressiva?

De Universiteit van Noorderzon

Honderden gebreide neuronen vormen kunstwerk

Radio interview at BNR Newsradio

What can be changed in order to improve dignity within mental health?

Jocelien Olivier has been awarded a Marie Slowdovska Curie Individual Fellowship MSCA IF

Research into the effects of antidepressants during pregnancy

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