In utero exposure to glucocorticoids in humans and an animal model: Epigenetic and transcriptional signatures
Dr. Sasaki research aims to (1) determine the mechanisms by which maternal synthetic glucocorticoids (sGC) modifies gene networks in a preclinical guinea pig model and (2) determine the mechanism by which a single maternal treatment of sGC modifies gene networks in human cord blood at term deliveries. To date, there has been no study of the effects of sGC on transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms in humans. This research will lead to improved understanding of the mechanisms linking fetal sGC exposure to poor health outcomes. The characterization of signatures of sGC exposure as well as the identification of signatures can be used to (1) understand how sGC impact the developing fetus/neonate; (2) understand the correspondence between transcriptional and epigenetic modifications in blood and brain; (3) understand the impact of stress (i.e. increased GC) in pregnancy. This research will provide a platform for future studies to identify children at risk of developing neurodevelopmental dysfunction.
Aya Sasaki , University of Toronto
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