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Rigshospitalet - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital

Intergenerational effects of maternal post-traumatic stress disorder on offspring epigenetic patterns and cortisol levels

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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  • Line Hjort
  • Feride Rushiti
  • Shr Jie Wang
  • Peter Fransquet
  • Sebahate P Krasniqi
  • Selvi I Çarkaxhiu
  • Dafina Arifaj
  • Vjosa Devaja Xhemaili
  • Mimoza Salihu
  • Nazmie A Leku
  • Joanne Ryan
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Aim: To investigate the association between maternal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during pregnancy and offspring DNA methylation and cortisol levels. Materials & methods: Blood genome-wide DNA methylation and cortisol was measured in the youngest child of 117 women who experienced sexual violence/torture during the Kosovo war. Results: Seventy-two percent of women had PTSD symptoms during pregnancy. Their children had higher cortisol levels and differential methylation at candidate genes (NR3C1, HTR3A and BNDF). No methylation differences reached epigenome-wide corrected significance levels. Conclusion: Identifying the biological processes whereby the negative effects of trauma are passed across generations and defining groups at high risk is a key step to breaking the intergenerational transmission of the effects of mental disorders.

Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)967-980
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the British Embassy in Pristina and the Danish Institute against Torture (Denmark). L Hjort is funded by the Danish Diabetes Academy supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. J Ryan is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Leader Fellowship (grant no.: 1135727). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

ID: 69222844