Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

This 2017 UC Irvine human review subject provided details of how fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal components and systems develop, and how they are epigenetically changed by the mother’s environment: “The developmental origins of disease or fetal programming model predicts that intrauterine exposures have life-long consequences for physical and psychological health. Prenatal programming of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) … Continue reading Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

All about vasopressin

This 2021 review subject was vasopressin: “Vasopressin is a ubiquitous molecule playing an important role in a wide range of physiological processes, thereby implicated in pathomechanisms of many disorders. The most striking is its central effect in stress-axis regulation, as well as regulating many aspects of our behavior. Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is a nonapeptide that is … Continue reading All about vasopressin

Blood pressure and pain

A trio of papers, with the second and third citing a 2013 review: “The relationship between pain and hypertension is potentially of great pathophysiological and clinical interest, but is poorly understood. Perception of acute pain initially plays an adaptive role, which results in prevention of tissue damage. The consequence of ascending nociception is recruitment of … Continue reading Blood pressure and pain

Our first 1000 days

This 2021 review subject was a measurable aspect of our early lives: “The first 1000 days from conception are a sensitive period for human development programming. During this period, environmental exposures may result in long-lasting epigenetic imprints that contribute to future developmental trajectories. The present review reports on effects of adverse and protective environmental conditions … Continue reading Our first 1000 days

Can a prebiotic help you feel better?

This 2019 rodent study investigated an inulin-type fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS): “The microbiota-gut-brain axis was used to investigate anti-depressive properties of FOS at the interface of gut microbiota. FOS was introduced via gavage to rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress: FOS alleviated depression-like behaviors and repaired intestinal epithelia damages. FOS treatment lowered corticosterone level. FOS-induced modulation … Continue reading Can a prebiotic help you feel better?

The future of your brain is in your gut right now

A 2020 paper by the author of Sulforaphane: Its “Coming of Age” as a Clinically Relevant Nutraceutical in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease: “The gut and brain communicate bidirectionally via several pathways which include: Neural via the vagus nerve; Endocrine via the HPA axis; Neurotransmitters, some of which are synthesized by microbes; Immune … Continue reading The future of your brain is in your gut right now

Unraveling oxytocin – is it nature’s medicine?

This 2020 review attempted to consolidate thousands of research papers on oxytocin: “Chemical properties of oxytocin make this molecule difficult to work with and to measure. Effects of oxytocin are context-dependent, sexually dimorphic, and altered by experience. Its relationship to a related hormone, vasopressin, have created challenges for its use as a therapeutic drug. Widely … Continue reading Unraveling oxytocin – is it nature’s medicine?

Forcing people to learn helplessness

Learned helplessness is a proven animal model. Its reliably-created phenotype is often the result of applying chronic unpredictable stress. As we’re finding out worldwide, forcing humans to learn helplessness works in much the same way, with governments imposing what amounts to martial law. Never mind that related phenotypes and symptoms include: “Social defeat Social avoidance … Continue reading Forcing people to learn helplessness

A review of fetal adverse events

This 2019 Australian review subject was fetal adversities: “Adversity during the perinatal period is a significant risk factor for the development of neurodevelopmental disorders long after the causative event. Despite stemming from a variety of causes, perinatal compromise appears to have similar effects on the developing brain, thereby resulting in behavioural disorders of a similar … Continue reading A review of fetal adverse events

Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

This 2019 French/Italian rodent study used the PRS model to investigate its effects on circadian activity: “The aim of this study was to explore the influence of PRS on the circadian oscillations of gene expression in the SCN [suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus] and on circadian locomotor behavior, in a sex-dependent manner. Research on transcriptional … Continue reading Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

This 2018 Loma Linda review subject was gestational hypoxia: “Of all the stresses to which the fetus and newborn infant are subjected, perhaps the most important and clinically relevant is that of hypoxia. This review explores the impact of gestational hypoxia on maternal health and fetal development, and epigenetic mechanisms of developmental plasticity with emphasis … Continue reading The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

The lifelong impact of maternal postpartum behavior

This 2018 French/Italian/Swiss rodent study was an extension of the work done by the group of researchers who performed Prenatal stress produces offspring who as adults have cognitive, emotional, and memory deficiencies and Treating prenatal stress-related disorders with an oxytocin receptor agonist: “Reduction of maternal behavior [nursing behavior, grooming, licking, carrying pups] was predictive of … Continue reading The lifelong impact of maternal postpartum behavior

How well do single-mother rodent studies inform us about human fathers?

Two items before getting to the review: 94% of rodent genera are naturally uniparental; The Rattus and Mus genera used in almost all rodent research aren’t part of the 6% in which fathers also provide offspring care. This 2018 Australian review subject was paternal intergenerational and transgenerational transmission of biological and behavioral phenotypes per this … Continue reading How well do single-mother rodent studies inform us about human fathers?

What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

This 2018 German human study found: “DNA methylation in a biologically relevant region of NR3C1-1F [glucocorticoid receptor gene] moderates the specific direction of HPA-axis dysregulation (hypo- vs. hyperreactivity) in adults exposed to moderate-severe CT [childhood trauma]. In contrast, unexposed and mildly-moderately exposed individuals displayed moderately sized cortisol stress responses irrespective of NR3C1-1F DNA methylation. Contrary … Continue reading What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

This 2018 Canadian paper reviewed evidence for potential sex-specific differences in the lasting impacts of childhood trauma: “This paper will provide a contextualized summary of neuroendocrine, neuroimaging, and behavioral epigenetic studies on biological sex differences contributing to internalizing psychopathology, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, among adults with a history of childhood abuse. Given the … Continue reading Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma