DNA methylation and childhood maltreatment: from animal models to human studies.

TitleDNA methylation and childhood maltreatment: from animal models to human studies.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLutz P-E, Turecki G
JournalNeuroscience
Volume264
Pagination142-56
Date Published2014 Apr 4
ISSN1873-7544
KeywordsAge of Onset, Animals, Brain, Child, Child Abuse, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, Genetic, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Mice, Models, Animal, Rats, Stress, Psychological
Abstract

Childhood maltreatment (CM) has estimated prevalence among Western societies between 10% and 15%. As CM associates with increased risk of several psychiatric disorders, early age of illness onset, increased comorbidity and negative clinical outcome, it imposes a major public health, social and economic impact. Although the clinical consequences of CM are well characterized, a major challenge remains to understand how negative early-life events can affect brain function over extended periods of time. We review here both animal and human studies indicating that the epigenetic mechanism of DNA methylation is a crucial mediator of early-life experiences, thereby maintaining life-long neurobiological sequelae of CM, and strongly determining psychopathological risk.

DOI10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.07.069
Alternate JournalNeuroscience
PubMed ID23933308