Year: 2015 Source: Translational Psychiatry.(2015).5:e560; Published online 5 May 2015doi:10.1038/tp.2014.140 SIEC No: 20150226

In animal models, prenatal and postnatal stress is associated with elevated hypothalamicÐpituitary axis (HPA) reactivity mediated via altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene expression. Postnatal tactile stimulation is associated with reduced HPA reactivity mediated via increased GR gene expression. In this first study in humans to examine the joint effects of prenatal and postnatal environmental exposures, we report that GR gene (NR3C1) 1-F promoter methylation in infants is elevated in the presence of increased maternal postnatal depression following low prenatal depression, and that this effect is reversed by self-reported stroking of the infants by their mothers over the first weeks of life.