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Quality of maternal care in infancy is an important contributing factor in the development of behavior and psychopathology. One way maternal care could affect behavioral trajectories is through environmentally induced epigenetic alterations within brain regions known to play prominent roles in cognition, emotion regulation, and stress responsivity. Whereas(More)
We have previously shown in infant rats that brief and repeated experiences with a stressed dam outside the homecage (maltreatment) alters methylation of DNA associated with the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf) gene within the developing and adult prefrontal cortex. BDNF is a key mediator of activity-dependent processes that have a profound(More)
Quality of maternal care experienced during infancy is a key factor that can confer vulnerability or resilience to psychiatric disorders later in life. Research continues to indicate that early-life experiences can affect developmental trajectories through epigenetic alterations capable of affecting gene regulation and neural plasticity. Previously, our lab(More)
Infant-caregiver experiences are major contributing factors to neural and behavioral development. Research indicates that epigenetic mechanisms provide a way in which infant-caregiver experiences affect gene activity and other downstream processes in the brain that influence behavioral development. Our laboratory previously demonstrated in a rodent model(More)
Early childhood is a sensitive period in which infant-caregiver experiences have profound effects on brain development and behavior. Clinical studies have demonstrated that infants who experience stress and adversity in the context of caregiving are at an increased risk for the development of psychiatric disorders. Animal models have helped to elucidate(More)
Recent discoveries have associated epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA (miRNA) processing, with activity-dependent changes in gene expression necessary to drive long-term memory formation. Here, we discuss the current interpretation of epigenetic mechanisms in the context of memory and sustained behavioral(More)
Negative experiences with a caregiver during infancy can result in long-term changes in brain function and behavior, but underlying mechanisms are not well understood. It is our central hypothesis that brain and behavior changes are conferred by early childhood adversity through epigenetic changes involving DNA methylation. Using a rodent model of(More)
The present study investigated whether repeated early postnatal exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT) alters behavioral responses to the stimulus later in life, at postnatal day (PN30). Long-Evans rat pups with their mothers were exposed for 20 min daily to TMT, water, or a noxious odor, butyric acid (BTA), during the(More)
(2013) Dynamic coding of dorsal hippocampal neurons between tasks that differ in structure and memory demand. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in the acquisition, retention, and reversal of a tactile visuospatial conditional discrimination task, Behav. (2013) Differential methylation of genes in the medial prefrontal cortex of developing and adult(More)
DNA methylation (addition of methyl groups to cytosines) and changes in telomere length (TTAGGG repeats on the ends of chromosomes) are two molecular modifications that result from stress and could contribute to the long-term effects of intrauterine exposure to maternal stress on offspring behavior. Here, we measured methylation of DNA associated with the(More)
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