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J Pediatr. 2012 May;160(5):854-860.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.10.028. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Placenta-imprinted gene expression association of infant neurobehavior.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA. Carmen.J.Marsit@dartmouth.edu



To identify links between altered gene imprinting in the placenta and infant neurobehavioral profiles.


Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to examine the expression of 22 imprinted candidate genes in a series of 106 term human primary placenta tissues. The expression pattern uncovered was associated with Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scales summary scores in the corresponding infants. Clustering of the expression data was used to define distinct classes of expression.


Significant associations were identified between classes of expression and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scales quality of movement (P = .02) and handling (P = .006) scores. Multivariate regression demonstrated an independent effect of imprinted gene expression profile on these neurobehavioral scores after controlling for confounders.


These results suggest that alterations in imprinted gene expression in the placenta are associated with infant neurodevelopmental outcomes, and suggest a role for the placenta and genomic imprinting in the placenta beyond intrauterine growth regulation.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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