Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prog Neurobiol. 2007 Mar;81(4):197-217. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Stress during development: Impact on neuroplasticity and relevance to psychopathology.

Author information

Center of Neuropharmacology, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Development represents a critical moment for shaping adult behavior and may set the stage to disease vulnerability later in life. There is now compelling evidence that stressful experiences during gestation or early in life can lead to enhanced susceptibility for mental illness. In this paper we review the data from experimental studies aimed at investigating behavioral, hormonal, functional and molecular consequences of exposure to stressful events during prenatal or early postnatal life that might contribute to later psychopathology. The use of the newest methodology in the field and the intensive efforts produced by researchers have opened the possibility to reveal the complex, finely tuned and previously unappreciated sets of molecular interactions between different factors that are critical for neurodevelopment thus leading to important discoveries regarding perinatal life. The major focus of our work has been to revise and discuss data from animal studies supporting the role of neuronal plasticity in the long-term effects produced by developmental adversities on brain function as well as the possible implications for disease vulnerability. We believe these studies might prove useful for the identification of novel targets for more effective pharmacological treatments of mental illnesses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center