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The role of maternal touch in the association between SLC6A4 methylation and stress response in very preterm infants

Wigley, ILCM, Mascheroni, E, Fontana, C, Giorda, R, Morandi, F, Bonichini, S, McGlone, FP, Fumagalli, M and Montirosso, R (2021) The role of maternal touch in the association between SLC6A4 methylation and stress response in very preterm infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 63 (S1). ISSN 0012-1630

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Abstract

Very preterm (VPT) infants requiring hospitalization in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are exposed to several stressful procedural experiences. One consequence of NICU-related stress is a birth-to-discharge increased serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation that has been associated with poorer stress regulation at 3 months of age. Maternal touch is thought to support infants’ stress response, but its role in moderating the effects of SLC6A4 methylation changes is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the role of maternal touch in moderating the association between increased SLC6A4 methylation and stress response in 3-month-old VPT infants. Twenty-nine dyads were enrolled and at 3 months (age corrected for prematurity), participated in the Face-to-Face Still-Face paradigm to measure infants’ stress response (i.e., negative emotionality) and the amount of maternal touch (i.e., dynamic and static). Results showed that low level of maternal touch is associated with high level of negative emotionality during social stress. Furthermore, during NICU stay SLC6A4 methylation in VPT exposed to low level of maternal touch at 3 months was associated with increased negative emotionality. Thus, low levels of maternal static touch can intensify the negative effects of SLC6A4 epigenetic changes on stress response in 3-month-old VPT infants.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mariani Wigley, I. L. C., Mascheroni, E., Fontana, C., Giorda, R., Morandi, F., Bonichini, S., McGlone, F., Fumagalli, M., & Montirosso, R. (2021). The role of maternal touch in the association between SLC6A4 methylation and stress response in very preterm infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 63,e22218. , which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.22218. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Social Sciences; Life Sciences & Biomedicine; Developmental Biology; Psychology; DNA methylation; maternal touch; negative emotionality; serotonin transporter gene; stress response; very preterm infants; CORTICOSTEROID-SEROTONIN INTERACTIONS; SOCIOEMOTIONAL STRESS; DNA METHYLATION; CLUSTERED CARE; LIFE ADVERSITY; PAIN; REACTIVITY; CORTISOL; STIMULATION; 3-MONTH-OLD; Humans; Touch; DNA Methylation; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Very Low Birth Weight; Infant, Premature; Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins; DNA methylation; SLC6A4; maternal touch; negative emotionality; serotonin transporter gene; stress response; very preterm infants; DNA Methylation; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Premature; Infant, Very Low Birth Weight; Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins; Touch; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences; Behavioral Science & Comparative Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Publisher: Wiley
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2022 09:57
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 10:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/dev.22218
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17099

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