Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Mental problems from early life adversity passed down three generations.

Early life adversity can result in emotional and behavioral problems throughout adulthood in both humans and mice. Battaglia et al. show than in mice this effect can persist through three generations. Exposure to the drug amiloride throughout the three generations can reverse this persistence of anxiety and pain sensitivity by inhidibint the increased activity of membrane ion channels that are its apparent cause. Here is their abstract:
Early-life adversities are associated with altered defensive responses. Here, we demonstrate that the repeated cross-fostering (RCF) paradigm of early maternal separation is associated with enhancements of distinct homeostatic reactions: hyperventilation in response to hypercapnia and nociceptive sensitivity, among the first generation of RCF-exposed animals, as well as among two successive generations of their normally reared offspring, through matrilineal transmission. Parallel enhancements of acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1), ASIC2, and ASIC3 messenger RNA transcripts were detected transgenerationally in central neurons, in the medulla oblongata, and in periaqueductal gray matter of RCF-lineage animals. A single, nebulized dose of the ASIC-antagonist amiloride renormalized respiratory and nociceptive responsiveness across the entire RCF lineage. These findings reveal how, following an early-life adversity, a biological memory reducible to a molecular sensor unfolds, shaping adaptation mechanisms over three generations. Our findings are entwined with multiple correlates of human anxiety and pain conditions and suggest nebulized amiloride as a therapeutic avenue.

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