Document Detail

Prenatal cortisol exposure predicts infant cortisol response to acute stress.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22315044     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Experimental animal findings suggest that early stress and glucocorticoid exposure may program the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the offspring. The extension of these findings to human development is not yet clear. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted on 125 mothers and their normally developing children. Amniotic fluid was obtained at, on average, 17.2 weeks gestation; infant behavior and cortisol response to a separation-reunion stress was assessed at 17 months. Amniotic fluid cortisol predicted infant cortisol response to separation-reunion stress: infants who were exposed to higher levels of cortisol in utero showed higher pre-stress cortisol values and blunted response to stress exposure. The association was independent of prenatal, obstetric, and socioeconomic factors and child-parent attachment. The findings provide some of the strongest data in humans that HPA axis functioning in the child may be predicted from prenatal cortisol exposure.
Thomas G O'Connor; Kristin Bergman; Pampa Sarkar; Vivette Glover
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-02-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental psychobiology     Volume:  55     ISSN:  1098-2302     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Psychobiol     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-23     Completed Date:  2013-07-19     Revised Date:  2014-09-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0164074     Medline TA:  Dev Psychobiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  145-55     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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MeSH Terms
Amniotic Fluid / chemistry
Hydrocortisone / analysis*
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
Longitudinal Studies
Maternal Deprivation
Object Attachment
Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology*
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology*
Prospective Studies
Saliva / chemistry
Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
Grant Support
MH073019/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH073019/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH073019-05/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH073842/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH073842/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH073842-05/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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