Individual differences in the effects of prenatal stress exposure in rodents

Gretha J. Boersma, Kellie L. Tamashiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Exposure to prenatal stress alters the phenotype of the offspring in adulthood. When the prenatal and adult environments do not match, these alterations may induce pathology risk. There are, however, large individual differences in the effects of prenatal stress. While some individuals seem vulnerable, others appear to be relatively resistant to its effects. In this review we discuss potential mechanisms underlying these individual differences with a focus on animal models. Differences between rodent models selected for stress coping traits are discussed. In addition, the role of circulating factors, like glucocorticoids and cytokines, factors involved in brain development and influences of epigenetic and genetic factors in prenatal stress induced phenotype are covered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Stress
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Brain development
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prenatal stress
  • Rodent model
  • Stress coping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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