Amanda J. Drake

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Many epidemiological studies in diverse populations have demonstrated a link between low birth weight and subsequent disease. This evidence has given rise to the fetal origins hypothesis, which suggests that exposure of the fetus to an adverse environment in utero leads to permanent programming of tIssue function and a risk of cardiovascular disease. An(More)
Epidemiological studies have shown that the environment experienced in early life can 'programme' susceptibility to later disease. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that these effects can be transmissible to subsequent generations through non-genomic mechanisms, with profound implications for human populations. Several mechanisms can underpin the(More)
We investigated the effects of different windows of testosterone propionate (TP) treatment during foetal and neonatal life in female rats to determine whether and when excess androgen exposure would cause disruption of adult reproductive function. Animals were killed prepubertally at d25 and as adults at d90. Plasma samples were taken for hormone analysis(More)
Early-life stress (ELS) is known to be associated with an increased risk of neuropsychiatric and cardiometabolic disease in later life. One of the potential mechanisms underpinning this is through effects on the epigenome, particularly changes in DNA methylation. Using a well-phenotyped cohort of 83 men from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, who experienced(More)
Altered peripheral glucocorticoid metabolism may be important in the pathogenesis of obesity in humans and animal models. Genetically obese Zucker rats, Lep/ob mice, and obese humans exhibit increased regeneration of active glucocorticoids selectively in adipose tissue by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD-1) and increased glucocorticoid(More)
Reproductive disorders that are common/increasing in prevalence in human males may arise because of deficient androgen production/action during a fetal 'masculinization programming window'. We identify a potentially important role for Chicken Ovalbumin Upstream Promoter-Transcription Factor II (COUP-TFII) in Leydig cell (LC) steroidogenesis that may partly(More)
BACKGROUND Maternal smoking is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for low birthweight, which is strongly associated with increased cardiometabolic disease risk in adulthood. Maternal smoking reduces the levels of the methyl donor vitamin B12 and is associated with altered DNA methylation at birth. Altered DNA methylation may be an important(More)
BACKGROUND Maternal obesity is associated with increased birthweight, and obesity and premature mortality in adult offspring. The mechanism by which maternal obesity leads to these outcomes is not well understood, but maternal hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance are both implicated. We aimed to establish whether the insulin sensitising drug metformin(More)
BACKGROUND Exposure to stress in early life is correlated with the development of anxiety disorders in adulthood. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, but an imbalance in corticosteroid receptor (CR) expression in the limbic system, particularly the hippocampus, has been implicated in the etiology of anxiety disorders. However, little is(More)
Epigenetic reprogramming of fetal germ cells involves the genome-wide erasure and subsequent re-establishment of DNA methylation. Mouse studies indicate that DNA demethylation may be initiated at embryonic day (e) 8 and completed between e11.5 and e12.5. In the male germline, DNA remethylation begins around e15 and continues for the remainder of gestation(More)