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Grandmaternal stress during pregnancy and DNA methylation of the third generation: an epigenome-wide association study
University of Konstanz, Germany.
University of Konstanz, Germany; University of Konstanz, Germany.
Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil.
University of Federal Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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2017 (English)In: Translational Psychiatry, ISSN 2158-3188, E-ISSN 2158-3188, Vol. 7, article id e1202Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Stress during pregnancy may impact subsequent generations, which is demonstrated by an increased susceptibility to childhood and adulthood health problems in the children and grandchildren. Although the importance of the prenatal environment is well reported with regards to future physical and emotional outcomes, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that mediate the long-term consequences of early stress across generations. Recent studies have identified DNA methylation as a possible mediator of the impact of prenatal stress in the offspring. Whether psychosocial stress during pregnancy also affects DNA methylation of the grandchildren is still not known. In the present study we examined the multigenerational hypothesis, that is, grandmaternal exposure to psychosocial stress during pregnancy affecting DNA methylation of the grandchildren. We determined the genome-wide DNA methylation profile in 121 children (65 females and 56 males) and tested for associations with exposure to grandmaternal interpersonal violence during pregnancy. We observed methylation variations of five CpG sites significantly (FDR amp;lt; 0.05) associated with the grandmothers report of exposure to violence while pregnant with the mothers of the children. The results revealed differential methylation of genes previously shown to be involved in circulatory system processes (FDRo0.05). This study provides support for DNA methylation as a biological mechanism involved in the transmission of stress across generations and motivates further investigations to examine prenatal-dependent DNA methylation as a potential biomarker for health problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 7, article id e1202
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140513DOI: 10.1038/tp.2017.153ISI: 000407809500002PubMedID: 28809857OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-140513DiVA, id: diva2:1140138
Note

Funding Agencies|European Research Council (ERC) through ERC advanced grant [323977]; CAPES/DAAD [18354/12-2]

Available from: 2017-09-11 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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