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Prenatal exposure to maternal psychosocial stress and HPA axis regulation in young adults.
Horm Behav 2009; 55(2):292-8HB

Abstract

Epidemiological studies have reported associations between measures of size and weight at birth and disease risk in later life. Alteration in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to prenatal stress has been proposed as one underlying mechanism. The present study investigated in humans the association of prenatal psychosocial stress exposure with subsequent HPA axis regulation in adult life, with a focus on measures of response to challenge and feedback sensitivity. Healthy young adults whose mothers experienced severe stress during their pregnancy in form of major negative life events (e.g. death of someone close; prenatal stress (PS) group, n=31) and an age-matched comparison group (CG, n=30) underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and a 1 microg ACTH(1-24) stimulation test. In addition, a diurnal cortisol profile was assessed. ACTH concentrations following a standardized behavioural challenge paradigm (TSST) were marginally significantly higher in PS subjects than in CG subjects (p=.06). Pre-TSST adrenocortical (cortisol) levels were lower (p=.007), whereas the increase in cortisol in response to the TSST was higher (p=.03) in PS subjects compared to CG subjects. Cortisol concentrations following a pharmacological stimulation test simulating pituitary activity (ACTH(1-24) test) were significantly lower in PS than in CG subjects (p=.006). No differences emerged between the two groups in basal diurnal cortisol levels. This study provides first evidence in humans of an association between prenatal psychosocial stress exposure and subsequent alterations in the regulation of the HPA axis.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Clinical and Physiological Psychology, University of Trier, Trier, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19084531

Citation

Entringer, Sonja, et al. "Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Psychosocial Stress and HPA Axis Regulation in Young Adults." Hormones and Behavior, vol. 55, no. 2, 2009, pp. 292-8.
Entringer S, Kumsta R, Hellhammer DH, et al. Prenatal exposure to maternal psychosocial stress and HPA axis regulation in young adults. Horm Behav. 2009;55(2):292-8.
Entringer, S., Kumsta, R., Hellhammer, D. H., Wadhwa, P. D., & Wüst, S. (2009). Prenatal exposure to maternal psychosocial stress and HPA axis regulation in young adults. Hormones and Behavior, 55(2), pp. 292-8. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.11.006.
Entringer S, et al. Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Psychosocial Stress and HPA Axis Regulation in Young Adults. Horm Behav. 2009;55(2):292-8. PubMed PMID: 19084531.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prenatal exposure to maternal psychosocial stress and HPA axis regulation in young adults. AU - Entringer,Sonja, AU - Kumsta,Robert, AU - Hellhammer,Dirk H, AU - Wadhwa,Pathik D, AU - Wüst,Stefan, Y1 - 2008/11/25/ PY - 2008/08/26/received PY - 2008/11/13/revised PY - 2008/11/14/accepted PY - 2008/12/17/entrez PY - 2008/12/17/pubmed PY - 2009/4/17/medline SP - 292 EP - 8 JF - Hormones and behavior JO - Horm Behav VL - 55 IS - 2 N2 - Epidemiological studies have reported associations between measures of size and weight at birth and disease risk in later life. Alteration in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to prenatal stress has been proposed as one underlying mechanism. The present study investigated in humans the association of prenatal psychosocial stress exposure with subsequent HPA axis regulation in adult life, with a focus on measures of response to challenge and feedback sensitivity. Healthy young adults whose mothers experienced severe stress during their pregnancy in form of major negative life events (e.g. death of someone close; prenatal stress (PS) group, n=31) and an age-matched comparison group (CG, n=30) underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and a 1 microg ACTH(1-24) stimulation test. In addition, a diurnal cortisol profile was assessed. ACTH concentrations following a standardized behavioural challenge paradigm (TSST) were marginally significantly higher in PS subjects than in CG subjects (p=.06). Pre-TSST adrenocortical (cortisol) levels were lower (p=.007), whereas the increase in cortisol in response to the TSST was higher (p=.03) in PS subjects compared to CG subjects. Cortisol concentrations following a pharmacological stimulation test simulating pituitary activity (ACTH(1-24) test) were significantly lower in PS than in CG subjects (p=.006). No differences emerged between the two groups in basal diurnal cortisol levels. This study provides first evidence in humans of an association between prenatal psychosocial stress exposure and subsequent alterations in the regulation of the HPA axis. SN - 1095-6867 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19084531/Prenatal_exposure_to_maternal_psychosocial_stress_and_HPA_axis_regulation_in_young_adults_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0018-506X(08)00314-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -