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Development of individual differences in stress responsiveness: an overview of factors mediating the outcome of early life experiences.

Claessens SE, Daskalakis NP, van der Veen R, Oitzl MS, de Kloet ER, Champagne DL - Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (2010)

Bottom Line: Environmental influences in early life exert powerful effects on later stress phenotypes, but they do not always lead to expression of diseases.Nonshared experiences are important in the outcome of gene × environment interplays in humans.The degree of "match" and "mismatch" between early and later life environments predicts resilience and vulnerability to stress-related diseases, respectively.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Medical Pharmacology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands. s.claessens@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Human epidemiology and animal studies have convincingly shown the long-lasting impact of early life experiences on the development of individual differences in stress responsiveness in later life. The interplay between genes and environment underlies this phenomenon.

Objectives: We provide an overview of studies investigating the impact of early life experiences on the development of individual differences in neuroendocrine stress responsiveness in adulthood and address (1) impact of environment on later stress phenotypes, (2) role of genetic factors in modulating the outcome of environment, and (3) role of nonshared environmental experience in the outcome of gene × environment interplays. We present original findings where we investigated the influence of nonshared experiences in terms of individual differences in maternal care received, on the development of stress phenotype in later life in rats.

Results: Environmental influences in early life exert powerful effects on later stress phenotypes, but they do not always lead to expression of diseases. Heterogeneity in response is explained by the role of particular genetic factors in modulating the influence of environment. Nonshared experiences are important in the outcome of gene × environment interplays in humans. We show that nonshared experiences acquired through within-litter variation in maternal care in rats predict the stress phenotype of the offspring.

Conclusion: The outcome of early experience is not deterministic and depends on several environmental and genetic factors interacting in an intricate manner to support stress adaptation. The degree of "match" and "mismatch" between early and later life environments predicts resilience and vulnerability to stress-related diseases, respectively.

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Distribution of maternal LG received by individual pups for each litter (1–7). Shown is the percentage of observations (pnd 1–7) in which each individual pup received maternal LG. Male pups are indicated with male signs, and female pups are indicated with female signs. “Highs” and “lows” within the litter (that displayed a LG percentage of at least one standard deviation above or below the family mean, respectively) are indicated with enlarged male or female signs. Inset Total percentage of LG displayed by each mother
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Fig1: Distribution of maternal LG received by individual pups for each litter (1–7). Shown is the percentage of observations (pnd 1–7) in which each individual pup received maternal LG. Male pups are indicated with male signs, and female pups are indicated with female signs. “Highs” and “lows” within the litter (that displayed a LG percentage of at least one standard deviation above or below the family mean, respectively) are indicated with enlarged male or female signs. Inset Total percentage of LG displayed by each mother

Mentions: We report that maternal LG is not homogeneously distributed among individual pups within the litter, suggesting that particular pups consistently receive higher or lower levels of LG compared to their littermates (Fig. 1).Fig. 1


Development of individual differences in stress responsiveness: an overview of factors mediating the outcome of early life experiences.

Claessens SE, Daskalakis NP, van der Veen R, Oitzl MS, de Kloet ER, Champagne DL - Psychopharmacology (Berl.) (2010)

Distribution of maternal LG received by individual pups for each litter (1–7). Shown is the percentage of observations (pnd 1–7) in which each individual pup received maternal LG. Male pups are indicated with male signs, and female pups are indicated with female signs. “Highs” and “lows” within the litter (that displayed a LG percentage of at least one standard deviation above or below the family mean, respectively) are indicated with enlarged male or female signs. Inset Total percentage of LG displayed by each mother
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3045508&req=5

Fig1: Distribution of maternal LG received by individual pups for each litter (1–7). Shown is the percentage of observations (pnd 1–7) in which each individual pup received maternal LG. Male pups are indicated with male signs, and female pups are indicated with female signs. “Highs” and “lows” within the litter (that displayed a LG percentage of at least one standard deviation above or below the family mean, respectively) are indicated with enlarged male or female signs. Inset Total percentage of LG displayed by each mother
Mentions: We report that maternal LG is not homogeneously distributed among individual pups within the litter, suggesting that particular pups consistently receive higher or lower levels of LG compared to their littermates (Fig. 1).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Environmental influences in early life exert powerful effects on later stress phenotypes, but they do not always lead to expression of diseases.Nonshared experiences are important in the outcome of gene × environment interplays in humans.The degree of "match" and "mismatch" between early and later life environments predicts resilience and vulnerability to stress-related diseases, respectively.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Medical Pharmacology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands. s.claessens@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Human epidemiology and animal studies have convincingly shown the long-lasting impact of early life experiences on the development of individual differences in stress responsiveness in later life. The interplay between genes and environment underlies this phenomenon.

Objectives: We provide an overview of studies investigating the impact of early life experiences on the development of individual differences in neuroendocrine stress responsiveness in adulthood and address (1) impact of environment on later stress phenotypes, (2) role of genetic factors in modulating the outcome of environment, and (3) role of nonshared environmental experience in the outcome of gene × environment interplays. We present original findings where we investigated the influence of nonshared experiences in terms of individual differences in maternal care received, on the development of stress phenotype in later life in rats.

Results: Environmental influences in early life exert powerful effects on later stress phenotypes, but they do not always lead to expression of diseases. Heterogeneity in response is explained by the role of particular genetic factors in modulating the influence of environment. Nonshared experiences are important in the outcome of gene × environment interplays in humans. We show that nonshared experiences acquired through within-litter variation in maternal care in rats predict the stress phenotype of the offspring.

Conclusion: The outcome of early experience is not deterministic and depends on several environmental and genetic factors interacting in an intricate manner to support stress adaptation. The degree of "match" and "mismatch" between early and later life environments predicts resilience and vulnerability to stress-related diseases, respectively.

Show MeSH