Navigation Links
Transmitting stress response patterns across generations

Philadelphia, PA, November 4, 2013 Children of survivors of extremely stressful life events face adjustment challenges of their own, as has been most carefully studied among the children of Nazi Death Camp survivors. This "intergenerational" transmission of stress response has been studied predominately from the psychological perspective. However, recent research points to biological contributions as well.

Indeed, a new study just published in Biological Psychiatry demonstrates that offspring born to stressed mothers show stress-induced changes at birth, with altered behavior and gender-related differences that continue into adulthood.

"The notion that biological traits that are not coded by the sequence of DNA can be transmitted across generations is the focus of a field of research called epigenetics. This new paper implicates epigenetic regulation of a well-studied contributor to stress response, CRF1, in the intergenerational transmission of patterns of stress response," said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers, led by Dr. Inna Gaisler-Salomon at University of Haifa in Israel, were interested in how stress modulates behavior and gene expression across generations. Previous studies in both humans and animals have shown that females exposed to stress even before they conceive can affect their children and even grandchildren.

In this study, they looked for a possible mechanism for these effects, focusing on the CRF1 gene. They studied adolescent female rats that went through a mild stress procedure before mating.

Stress led to an increase in CRF1 expression in the frontal cortex, a brain region involved in emotional regulation and decision making. Also, there was a dramatic increase in CRF1 expression in the egg cells of stressed females.

In the offspring of stressed female rats, brain CRF1 expression was increased as well, already at birth. "It seems that CRF1 is a marker molecule that tracks the stress experience across generations, perhaps via the germline, and maternal care is minimally involved in this particular effect," explained Gaisler-Salomon.

They also found behavioral differences between the offspring of stressed and non-stressed females, particularly in tests of emotional and exploratory behavior. Interestingly, CRF1 expression was increased in adult daughters of stressed females, but only if the offspring themselves were exposed to stress. This indicates that in adults, CRF1 expression depends on the mother's stress experiences in combination with the individual's stress experience and their sex.

"So why is this important?" asked Gaisler-Salomon. "Traditionally, it was believed that only genetic information is transferred from generation to generation via eggs and sperm cells. This study contributes to the notion that soft-wired information that is not written into the genetic code can also be transferred from one generation to the next via the germline."

Many psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress disorder, are related to stress. Better understanding of the related mechanisms can contribute to the development of better diagnostics and improved treatments.


Contact: Rhiannon Bugno

Related medicine news :

1. UCI researchers create mosquitoes incapable of transmitting malaria
2. Positive stress helps protect eye from glaucoma
3. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
4. Stress contributes to cognitive declines in women with breast cancer, researcher says
5. Stress about wifes breast cancer can harm a mans health
6. Gatekeeper of brain steroid signals boosts emotional resilience to stress
7. Stress May Be Tougher on Womens Hearts Than Mens: Study
8. Email vacations decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say
9. Email Vacations Boost Job Productivity, Lower Stress: Study
10. Reducing post-traumatic stress after ICU
11. Are Post-Angioplasty Stress Tests Unnecessary?
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading ... Clarity, the latest addition to the devices for sale in the United States. ... Alexandrite and long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... PYA’s latest white paper, “ PYA ... main “pain point” for merging or aligning healthcare provider organizations—when mergers and other ... This quick-read guidance suggests that failing to recognize the power of an ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... PartnerTech , ... membership and leadership since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North America, currently ... spent a significant amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech based in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., maker ... order to date. , The order will be from the China Disabled Persons’ ... Implant System is an effective solution for children and adults suffering from severe ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... NHS Foundation Trust on receiving the 2015 HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award on ... of improving the patient care experience, and propose exciting enhancements to the medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... BOSTON , Dec. 1, 2015  The ... (HCOs) to develop shared care plans that help ... These care plans will be digitally enabled, incorporate ... unique needs and desires. They will also allow ... a patient,s health journey is optimal. That is ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Germany , December 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... leading global manufacturer of eye and gaze tracking solutions, ... SMI remote eye trackers as a component of its ... concussions, eye sight, and medical and performance issues in ... part of SMI,s mass-market-ready eye tracking platform, which is ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... THE WOODLANDS, Texas , Dec. 1, ... LXRX )  announced today that top-line data ... results of telotristat etiprate in treating carcinoid ... tumors consistent with the clinical benefit observed ... study was designed as a companion to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: