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Effects of prenatal and postnatal depression, and maternal stroking, at the glucocorticoid receptor gene.

Murgatroyd, C and Quinn, JP and Sharp, HM and Pickles, A and Hill, J (2015) Effects of prenatal and postnatal depression, and maternal stroking, at the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Translational Psychiatry, 5. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In animal models, prenatal and postnatal stress is associated with elevated hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) reactivity mediated via altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene expression. Postnatal tactile stimulation is associated with reduced HPA reactivity mediated via increased GR gene expression. In this first study in humans to examine the joint effects of prenatal and postnatal environmental exposures, we report that GR gene (NR3C1) 1-F promoter methylation in infants is elevated in the presence of increased maternal postnatal depression following low prenatal depression, and that this effect is reversed by self-reported stroking of the infants by their mothers over the first weeks of life.

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