In this epigenetics tutorial by University of Utah (Browser requires to support and allow adobe flash player); it is shown that in rat model those rat kids get little or no maternal care, whenn adult, develops aggression, lack of calmness etc. Whereas the rat kids got more maternal care and nurturing, developed better cope-up at stress, relaxed very quickly after stress. They credit this to hippocampal GR (glucocorticoid receptor protein) gene overexpression in the more nurtured rat kid (and underexpression of GR gene in uncared rat kid) as well as difference in expression in "hundreds of genes". (The adobe flash app even offers a "rat pup licking game"!)

Screenshot of the app.

Does this principle also work on human? There is a common popular belief that stress makes a person more resilient to stress. But at least in the rat example at least partly that popular assumption did not apply. The rat which lacked maternal adore at childhood, developed underexpressed hippocampal GR gene throughout the rest-of-the-life, and though they have specific advantage to specific situation, they could not quckly relief from stress. In contrast, more nurtured rat kid developed overexpression of hippocampal GR gene that helped them fast recover after stress.

My question is; this principle found in rats (which is also at a contrary to a certain popular belief), does also apply on humans? Such as if a human kid get less nurturing and more struggle or stess, will she or he develop less-resilience/ delayed recovery from stress at later life? as well if a human kid get proper maternal care and nurturing then she or he will develop more adaptibility and faster recovery from stress? If yes, is it due to similar set of genes?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.