Document Detail


Prenatal exposure to stressful life events is associated with masculinized anogenital distance (AGD) in female infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23499769     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
In animal models, prenatal stress programs reproductive development in the resulting offspring, however little is known about effects in humans. Anogenital distance (AGD) is a commonly used, sexually dimorphic biomarker of prenatal androgen exposure in many species. In rodents, prenatally stressed males have shorter AGD than controls (suggesting lower prenatal androgen exposure), whereas prenatally stressed females have longer AGD than controls (suggesting greater prenatal androgen exposure). Our objective was to investigate the relationship between stressful life events in pregnancy and infant AGD. In a prospective cohort study, pregnant women and their partners reported exposure to stressful life events during pregnancy. Pregnancies in which the couple reported 4+ life events were considered highly stressed. After birth (average 16.5 months), trained examiners measured AGD in the infants (137 males, 136 females). After adjusting for age, body size and other covariates, females born to couples reporting high stress had significantly longer (i.e. more masculine) AGD than females born to couples reporting low stress (p=0.015). Among males, high stress was weakly, but not significantly, associated with shorter AGD. Our results suggest prenatal stress may masculinize some aspects of female reproductive development in humans. More sensitive measures of prenatal stress and additional measures of reproductive development are needed to better understand these relationships and clarify mechanisms.
Authors:
Emily S Barrett; Lauren E Parlett; Sheela Sathyanarayana; Fan Liu; J Bruce Redmon; Christina Wang; Shanna H Swan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Multicenter Study; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2013-03-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiology & behavior     Volume:  114-115     ISSN:  1873-507X     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Behav.     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-05-07     Completed Date:  2013-12-04     Revised Date:  2014-04-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151504     Medline TA:  Physiol Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Anal Canal / growth & development*,  pathology*
Child, Preschool
Female
Humans
Infant
Longitudinal Studies
Male
Pregnancy
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology*
Questionnaires
Retrospective Studies
Sex Factors
Stress, Psychological / etiology*,  pathology*
Virilism / pathology*
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
K12 ES019852/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS; K12 ES019852-01/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS; M01-RR00400/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; M01RR0425/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; R01ES09916/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS; UL1TR000124/TR/NCATS NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

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