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Endocrinology. 2018 Jan 1;159(1):69-82. doi: 10.1210/en.2017-00896.

Prenatal Stress, Glucocorticoids, and Developmental Programming of the Stress Response.

McGowan PO1,2,3,4,5, Matthews SG5,6,7,8.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
Center for Environmental Epigenetics and Development, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
3
Department of Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
5
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
6
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
7
Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
8
Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The early environment has a major impact on the developing embryo, fetus, and infant. Parental adversity (maternal and paternal) and glucocorticoid exposure before conception and during pregnancy have profound effects on the development and subsequent function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and related behaviors. These effects are species-, sex-, and age-specific and depend on the timing and duration of exposure. The impact of these early exposures can extend across multiple generations, via both the maternal and paternal lineage, and recent studies have begun to determine the mechanisms by which this occurs. Improved knowledge of the mechanisms by which adversity and glucocorticoids program stress systems will allow development of strategies to ameliorate and/or reverse these long-term effects.

PMID:
29136116
DOI:
10.1210/en.2017-00896
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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