The roles of DNA methylation of NR3C1 and 11β-HSD2 and exposure to maternal mood disorder in utero on newborn neurobehavior.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Exposure to maternal mood disorder in utero may program infant neurobehavior via DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 ( 11β-HSD-2), two placental genes that have been implicated in perturbations of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis. We tested the relations among prenatal exposure to maternal depression or anxiety, methylation of exon 1F of NR3C1 and 11β-HSD-2, and newborn neurobehavior. Controlling for relevant covariates, infants whose mothers reported depression during pregnancy and showed greater methylation of placental NR3C1 CpG2 had poorer self-regulation, more hypotonia, and more lethargy than infants whose mothers did not report depression. On the other hand, infants whose mothers reported anxiety during pregnancy and showed greater methylation of placental 11β-HSD-2 CpG4 were more hypotonic compared with infants of mothers who did not report anxiety during pregnancy. Our results support the fetal programming hypothesis and suggest that fetal adjustments to cues from the intrauterine environment, in this case an environment that could be characterized by increased exposure to maternal cortisol, may lead to poor neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Conradt, E; Lester, BM; Appleton, AA; Armstrong, DA; Marsit, CJ

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1321 - 1329

PubMed ID

  • 24135662

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3933492

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-2308

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4161/epi.26634

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States