Publications by authors named "Horst-Dietrich Elvers"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prenatal maternal stress and wheeze in children: novel insights into epigenetic regulation.

Sci Rep 2016 06 28;6:28616. Epub 2016 Jun 28.

Division of Theoretical Bioinformatics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany.

Psychological stress during pregnancy increases the risk of childhood wheeze and asthma. However, the transmitting mechanisms remain largely unknown. Since epigenetic alterations have emerged as a link between perturbations in the prenatal environment and an increased disease risk we used whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) to analyze changes in DNA methylation in mothers and their children related to prenatal psychosocial stress and assessed its role in the development of wheeze in the child. We evaluated genomic regions altered in their methylation level due to maternal stress based of WGBS data of 10 mother-child-pairs. These data were complemented by longitudinal targeted methylation and transcriptional analyses in children from our prospective mother-child cohort LINA for whom maternal stress and wheezing information was available (n = 443). High maternal stress was associated with an increased risk for persistent wheezing in the child until the age of 5. Both mothers and children showed genome-wide alterations in DNA-methylation specifically in enhancer elements. Deregulated neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter receptor interactions were observed in stressed mothers and their children. In children but not in mothers, calcium- and Wnt-signaling required for lung maturation in the prenatal period were epigenetically deregulated and could be linked with wheezing later in children's life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep28616DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4923849PMC
June 2016

Relation between stressful life events, neuropeptides and cytokines: results from the LISA birth cohort study.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2008 Dec 25;19(8):722-9. Epub 2008 Feb 25.

Department of Environmental Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Stressful life events evidently have an impact on development of allergic diseases, but the mechanism linking stress to pathological changes of immune system function is still not fully understood. The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between stressful life events, neuropeptide and cytokine concentrations in children. Within the LISAplus (Life style-Immune system-Allergy) study, blood samples from children of 6 yr of age were analysed for concentration of the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), somatostatin (SOM), substance P (SP) and the Th1/Th2 cytokines interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin (IL)-4. Life events such as severe disease or death of a family member, unemployment or divorce of the parents were assessed with a questionnaire filled in by the parents. For 234 children, blood analysis and questionnaire data regarding life events were available. Children with separated/divorced parents showed high VIP levels and high concentrations of the Th2 cytokine IL-4 in their blood. Severe diseases and death of a family member were neither associated with neuropeptide levels nor with cytokine concentrations. Unemployment of the parents was associated with decreased IFN-gamma concentrations in children's blood but not with neuropeptide levels, whereas children experiencing concomitant severe disease and death of a family member had reduced SP blood levels. The neuropeptide VIP might be a mediator between stressful life events and immune regulation contributing to the Th2 shifted immune response in children with separated/divorced parents. Unemployment of the parents was associated with immune regulation in children on the basis of a still unknown mechanism whereas reduced SP levels seem to have no effect on immune regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3038.2008.00727.xDOI Listing
December 2008

The ethics of uncertainty. In the light of possible dangers, research becomes a moral duty.

EMBO Rep 2007 Oct;8(10):892-6

Unit Bioethics and Science Communication, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.embor.7401072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2002561PMC
October 2007