Epigenetic mechanisms of perinatal programming of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function and health

Michael J. Meaney*, Moshe Szyf, Jonathan R. Seckl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Environmental effects on the materno-foetal interaction determine birth outcomes that predict health over the lifespan. Thus, maternal undernutrition or stress associate with low birth weight, leading to an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular illness in the offspring. We argue that these effects are, in part, mediated by direct and indirect effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis such that (i) the effect of maternal adversity on foetal growth is mediated by adrenal glucocorticoids and (ii) environmental adversity alters maternal physiology and behaviour, which then programs HPA activity in the offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 11-BETA-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASE TYPE-2
  • BETA-HYDROXYSTEROID DEHYDROGENASE
  • CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE
  • APPARENT MINERALOCORTICOID EXCESS
  • PRENATAL GLUCOCORTICOID EXPOSURE
  • INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RESTRICTION
  • DEPENDENT DIABETES-MELLITUS
  • LEPTIN RECEPTOR EXPRESSION
  • MESSENGER-RIBONUCLEIC-ACID
  • GENE-EXPRESSION

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