Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

This 2019 McGill rodent study found: “Prenatal stress exacerbates pain after injury. Analysis of mRNA expression of genes related to epigenetic regulation and stress responses in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, brain structures implicated in chronic pain, showed distinct sex and region-specific patterns of dysregulation. In general, mRNA expression was most frequently altered in the … Continue reading Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

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

Organismal aging and cellular senescence

I’ll curate this 2019 German review through its figures: “With the discovery of beneficial aspects of cellular senescence and evidence of senescence being not limited to replicative cellular states, a redefinition of our comprehension of aging and senescence appears scientifically overdue. Figure 1. Current determinants and relevant open questions, marking the processes of aging and … Continue reading Organismal aging and cellular senescence

Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance extends to the great-great-grand offspring

This 2019 rodent study by the Washington State University labs of Dr. Michael Skinner continued to F4 generation great-great-grand offspring, and demonstrated that epigenetic inheritance mechanisms are similar to imprinted genes: “Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance potentially impacts disease etiology, phenotypic variation, and evolution. An increasing number of environmental factors from nutrition to toxicants have been shown … Continue reading Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance extends to the great-great-grand offspring

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of thyroid hormone sensitivity

My 500th curation is a 2019 Portuguese human study of Azorean islanders: “This study demonstrates a transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans produced by exposure to high TH [thyroid hormone] in fetal life, in the absence of maternal influences secondary to thyrotoxicosis. The inheritance is along the male line. The present work took advantage of the … Continue reading Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of thyroid hormone sensitivity

PNAS politics in the name of science

This 2019 Germany/Canada human fetal cell study was a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America direct submission: “In a human hippocampal progenitor cell line, we assessed the short- and long-term effects of GC [glucocorticoid] exposure during neurogenesis on messenger RNA expression and DNA methylation profiles. Our data suggest … Continue reading PNAS politics in the name of science

Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

This 2019 UK/Canada/Germany human study investigated thirteen developmental disorders to identify genes that changed aspects of the epigenetic clock: “Sotos syndrome accelerates epigenetic aging [+7.64 years]. Sotos syndrome is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the NSD1 gene, which encodes a histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) methyltransferase. This leads to a phenotype which can include: Prenatal and … Continue reading Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

Do delusions have therapeutic value?

This 2019 UK review discussed delusions, aka false beliefs about reality: “Delusions are characterized by their behavioral manifestations and defined as irrational beliefs that compromise good functioning. In this overview paper, we ask whether delusions can be adaptive notwithstanding their negative features. We consider different types of delusions and different ways in which they can … Continue reading Do delusions have therapeutic value?

Another important transgenerational epigenetic inheritance study

This 2019 Washington State University rodent study from Dr. Michael Skinner’s lab found: “A cascade of epigenetic alterations initiated in the PGCs [primordial germ cells of F3 males] appears to be required to alter the epigenetic programming during spermatogenesis to modify the sperm epigenome involved in the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance phenomenon. Following fertilization there is … Continue reading Another important transgenerational epigenetic inheritance study

Our brains are shaped by our early environments

This 2019 McGill paper reviewed human and animal studies on brain-shaping influences from the fetal period through childhood: “In neonates, regions of the methylome that are highly variable across individuals are explained by the genotype alone in 25 percent of cases. The best explanation for 75 percent of variably methylated regions is the interaction of … Continue reading Our brains are shaped by our early environments