Maternal prenatal stress and placental gene expression of NR3C1 and HSD11B2; the effects of maternal ethnicity

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Title: Maternal prenatal stress and placental gene expression of NR3C1 and HSD11B2; the effects of maternal ethnicity
Author(s): Capron, L
Ramchandani, P
Glover, V
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background Prenatal stress is associated with altered fetal and infant development. Previous studies have suggested that these effects may be mediated in part via altered functioning of placental enzymes and receptors involved in the HPA-axis, including the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) and HSD11B2, the enzyme which metabolises cortisol. However, previous studies have not examined the potential ethnicity effects on these associations. This study aimed to characterise the association between maternal prenatal stress and placental genes expression and subsequently, any potential effect of maternal ethnicity. Method Pregnant women(n = 83) were recruited prior to elective caesarean section and assessed for trait anxiety, depression and life events. Placentas were collected and placental gene expression of NR3C1 and HSD11B2 were analysed. We examined associations between maternal prenatal stress and placental gene expression, and the tested for a possible moderating effect of maternal ethnicity(59.0% Caucasian;41.0% non-Caucasian:12.0% South Asian;6.0% African/African-American;14.4% Other;8.4% Mixed). Results Analyses demonstrated a trend in the association between both maternal trait anxiety and depression symptoms with placental gene expression of NR3C1(adj.β = .220,p = .067;adj.β = .212,p = .064 respectively). We found a significant interaction with maternal ethnicity(β = .249;p = .033). In Caucasian women only prenatal trait anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with an increase in placental NR3C1 expression(adj.β = .389,p = .010;adj.β = .294;p = .047 respectively). Prenatal life events were associated with a down regulation of HSD11B2(adj.β = .381;p = .008), but only in Caucasians. Conclusion These results support previous findings of an association between maternal prenatal stress and the expression of placental genes associated with the HPA-axis, but only in Caucasians. These ethnic specific findings are novel and require replication in different populations.
Publication Date: 26-Oct-2017
Date of Acceptance: 25-Oct-2017
ISSN: 0306-4530
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 166
End Page: 172
Journal / Book Title: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Volume: 87
Copyright Statement: © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Sponsor/Funder: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust- BRC Funding
Funder's Grant Number: RDA03
Keywords: Anxiety
Placenta and ethnicity
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Publication Status: Published online
Embargo Date: 2018-10-26
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine

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