Exposure to stress even before conception causes genetic changes to offspring - abstract

"A female's exposure to distress even before she conceives causes changes in the expression of a gene linked to the stress mechanism in the bodyβ€”in the ovum and later in the brains of the offspring from when they are born, according to a new study on rats conducted by the University of Haifa....

"The systemic similarity in many instances between us and mice raises questions about the transgenerational influences in humans as well, for example, the effects of the Second Lebanon War or the security situation in the South on the children of those who went through those difficult experiences," the researchers said. "If until now we saw evidence only of behavioral effects, now we've found proof of effects at the ."...

"This is the first time that we showed that the genetic response to stress in is linked to the experiences their mothers underwent long before they even got pregnant with them," the researchers said. "We are learning more and more about intergenerational genetic transfer and in light of the findings, and in light of the fact that in today's reality many women are exposed to even before they get pregnant, it's important to research the degree to which such phenomenon take place in humans."

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-07-exposure-stress-conception-genetic-offspring.html

Zaidan, et al. (2013). "Prereproductive Stress to Female Rats Alters Corticotropin Releasing Factor Type 1 Expression in Ova and Behavior and Brain Corticotropin Releasing Factor Type 1 Expression in Offspring." Biological Psychiatry. Abstract.


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