Epigenetic alterations related to early-life stressful events
Version of Record online: 30 AUG 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Volume 24, Issue 5, pages 255–265, October 2012
How to Cite
Epigenetic alterations related to early-life stressful events., .
- Issue online: 18 SEP 2012
- Version of Record online: 30 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 16 JUL 2012 10:00AM EST
- Manuscript Revised: 12 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 APR 2012
- Universidad de los Andes, Chile. Grant Number: FAI-7, 2011
- early stress;
Early stress events severely impact brain and behaviour. From a neurobiological point of view early stress influences neuroanatomical structures and is associated with a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The objective of this article is to review the epigenetic alterations implicated in brain adaptation to early stress events.
A review of empirical research of epigenetic alterations associated to early stress events was performed.
Neuroanatomic and epigenetic alterations have been observed after early stress events. Epigenetics alterations include DNA methylation, histones modifications and microRNA (miRNA) expression. The most studied is largely the former, affecting genes involved in neuroendocrine, neurotransmission and neuroplasticity regulation after early stress exposition. It includes glucocorticoid receptor, FK506-binding protein 5, arginine vasopressin, oestrogen receptor alpha, 5-hydroxy-tryptamine transporter and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Epigenetic regulation is critical in the interplay between nature and nurture. Alterations in the DNA methylation as well as histones modifications and miRNA expression patterns could explain abnormal behaviours secondary to early stress events.