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Crossing the “Birth Border” for Epigenetic Effects

  • Debomoy K. Lahiri
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Debomoy K. Lahiri, Ph.D.
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Stark Neuroscience Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • Bryan Maloney
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Stark Neuroscience Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • Weihong Song
    Affiliations
    Institute of Aging, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China

    Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Deborah K. Sokol
    Affiliations
    Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
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      Studying how early life influences late-life outcomes continues to enrich our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders. Manipulative experiments must be limited to animal models, and longitudinal surveys that unite records data and biological sampling are uncommon. Thus, McGill et al.’s (
      • McGill M.G.
      • Pokhvisneva I.
      • Clappison A.S.
      • McEwen L.M.
      • Beijers R.
      • Tollenaar M.S.
      • et al.
      Maternal prenatal anxiety and the fetal origins of epigenetic aging.
      ) work is a welcome addition to the field. We offer the following analytical and conceptual comments and suggestions.
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      Linked Article

      • Maternal Prenatal Anxiety and the Fetal Origins of Epigenetic Aging
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 91Issue 3
        • Preview
          The fetal origins of mental health is a well-established framework that currently lacks a robust index of the biological embedding of prenatal adversity. The Pediatric-Buccal-Epigenetic (PedBE) clock is a novel epigenetic tool that associates with aspects of the prenatal environment, but additional validation in longitudinal datasets is required. Likewise, the relationship between prenatal maternal mental health and the PedBE clock has not been described.
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      • Reply to: Crossing the “Birth Border” for Epigenetic Effects
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 92Issue 4
        • Preview
          We thank Lahiri et al. (1) for their interest in our recent article in which we describe the potential fetal origins of epigenetic aging (2). Owing to space constraints, a detailed review of the fetal origins literature was not possible in our original article. We now provide a short historical perspective below. We also direct readers to the following articles, which review the extension of the fetal origins framework to neurodevelopment and mental health phenotypes (3–10).
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