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Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2016 Sep;108(3):207-223. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.21139. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Fetal programming of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Author information

1
Division of Pathology, Department of Surgery, University Hospital San Giovanni di Dio, Cagliari, Italy.
2
Section of Psychiatry, Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
3
Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
4
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Pathology and Neonatal Section, AOU Cagliari and University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
5
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Pathology and Neonatal Section, AOU Cagliari and University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy. vafanos@tiscali.it.

Abstract

Starting from the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypotheses proposed by David Barker, namely fetal programming, in the past years, there is a growing evidence of the major role played by epigenetic factors during the intrauterine life and the perinatal period. Furthermore, it has been assessed that these factors can affect the health status in infancy and even in adulthood. In this review, we focus our attention on the fetal programming of the brain, analyzing the most recent literature concerning the epigenetic factors that can influence the development of neuropsychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorders, major depressive disorders, and schizophrenia. The perinatal epigenetic factors have been divided in two main groups: maternal factors and fetal factors. The maternal factors include diet, smoking, alcoholism, hypertension, malnutrition, trace elements, stress, diabetes, substance abuse, and exposure to environmental toxicants, while the fetal factors include hypoxia/asphyxia, placental insufficiency, prematurity, low birth weight, drugs administered to the mother or to the baby, and all factors causing intrauterine growth restriction. A better comprehension of the possible mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of these diseases may help researchers and clinicians develop new diagnostic tools and treatments to offer these patients a tailored medical treatment strategy to improve their quality of life. Birth Defects Research (Part C) 108:207-223, 2016.

KEYWORDS:

NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS; fetal programming

PMID:
27774781
DOI:
10.1002/bdrc.21139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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