Epigenetic changes in the developing brain change behavior

This 2015 review cited 143 studies to tie together findings in epigenetic chemistry and behavioral neuroscience.

In addition to studies I’ve previously curated, other research included:

  • a 2012 study which completely abolished mouse maternal behavior by silencing a gene encoding an estrogen receptor;
  • a 2012 study which found that stress-induced changes in the rat hippocampus were heritable;
  • a 2014 study that distinguished between transgenerational and intergenerational epigenetic effects such as:

    in utero exposure to nutritional status, stress, or toxic environmental factors that act on the developing embryo and its germ line”

  • a 2013 study that showed how genomic imprinting coordinated:

    “Genetic coadaptation where beneficially interacting alleles evolve to become coinherited.”

The current status of research incorporating both epigenetic chemistry and behavioral neuroscience was summed up as:

“A large number of behavioral epigenetic studies attempt to correlate epigenetic marker changes at global levels and in mixed populations of cells with phenotypic changes.

Specific changes at specific gene levels and at single cell levels correlating with behavioral changes remain largely unknown.”

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/22/6789.full “Epigenetic changes in the developing brain: Effects on behavior”


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