Jennifer Blaze

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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)
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)
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)
While it is well-known that stress during development and adulthood can confer long-term neurobiological and behavioral consequences, investigators have only recently begun to assess underlying epigenetic modifications. In this review, we highlight clinical research and work from animal models that provide evidence of the impact of stressful experiences(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)
Early life adversity is known to disrupt behavioral trajectories and many rodent models have been developed to characterize these stress-induced outcomes. One example is the scarcity-adversity model of low nesting resources. This model employs resource scarcity (i.e., low nesting materials) to elicit adverse caregiving conditions (including maltreatment)(More)
Rationale/ statement of the problem: Substantial evidence suggests conditions in intrauterine life may play a critical role in subsequent health and disease susceptibility related outcomes (i.e., the concept of fetal or developmental programming of health and disease). The elucidation of biological mechanisms underlying these effects is an area of active(More)