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Here we report that increased pup licking and grooming (LG) and arched-back nursing (ABN) by rat mothers altered the offspring epigenome at a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene promoter in the hippocampus. Offspring of mothers that showed high levels of LG and ABN were found to have differences in DNA methylation, as compared to offspring of 'low-LG-ABN'(More)
Maternal care influences hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function in the rat through epigenetic programming of glucocorticoid receptor expression. In humans, childhood abuse alters HPA stress responses and increases the risk of suicide. We examined epigenetic differences in a neuron-specific glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) promoter between postmortem(More)
Variations in maternal behavior are associated with differences in estrogen receptor (ER)-␣ expression in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) and are transmitted across generations such that, as adults, the female offspring of mothers that exhibit increased pup licking/grooming (LG) over the first week postpartum (i.e. high LG mothers) show increased ER␣(More)
Mammalian genomes are compartmentalized into dense inactive chromatin that is hypermethylated and active open chromatin that is hypomethylated. It is generally accepted that this bimodal pattern of methylation is established during development and is then faithfully inherited through subsequent cell divisions by a maintenance DNA methyltransferase (DNMT1).(More)
DNA-methylation patterns are important for regulating genome functions, and are determined by the enzymatic processes of methylation and demethylation. The demethylating enzyme has now been identified: a mammalian complementary DNA encodes a methyl-CpG-binding domain, bears a demethylase activity that transforms methylated cytosine bases to cytosine, and(More)
BACKGROUND Maternal care is associated with long-term effects on behavior and epigenetic programming of the NR3C1 (GLUCOCORTICOID RECEPTOR) gene in the hippocampus of both rats and humans. In the rat, these effects are reversed by cross-fostering, demonstrating that they are defined by epigenetic rather than genetic processes. However, epigenetic changes at(More)
The genome is programmed by the epigenome. Two of the fundamental components of the epige-nome are chromatin structure and covalent modification of the DNA molecule itself by methylation. DNA methylation patterns are sculpted during development and it has been a long held belief that they remain stable after birth in somatic tissues. Recent data suggest(More)
Studies across multiple organisms reveal considerable phenotypic variation in reproductive tactics. In some species, this variation is associated with maternal effects in which variation in maternal investment results in stable individual differences in reproductive function. Recent studies with the rat suggest that maternal effects can alter the function(More)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative pathology in which amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide accumulates in different brain areas leading to deposition of plaques and a progressive decline of cognitive functions. After a decade in which a number of transgenic (Tg) mouse models mimicking AD-like amyloid-deposition pathology have been successfully(More)
Early-life adversity is associated with a broad scope of life-long health and behavioral disorders. Particularly critical is the role of the mother. A possible mechanism is that these effects are mediated by "epigenetic" mechanisms. Studies in rodents suggest a causal relationship between early-life adversity and changes in DNA methylation in several(More)