Epigenetic programming of reward function in offspring: A role for maternal diet

Nicola Grissom, Nicole Bowman, Teresa M. Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Early life development, through gestation and lactation, represents a timeframe of extreme vulnerability for the developing fetus in general, and for the central nervous system in particular. An adverse perinatal environment can have a lasting negative impact on brain development, increasing the risk for developmental disorders and broader psychopathologies. A major determinant of the fetal developmental environment is maternal diet. The present review summarizes the current literature regarding the effect of poor maternal perinatal nutrition on offspring brain development, with an emphasis on reward-related neural systems and behaviors. Epigenetic mechanisms represent a likely link between maternal diet and persistent changes in offspring brain development, and these mechanisms are presented and discussed within the context of perinatal maternal nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalMammalian Genome
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
TMR received funding from the National Institutes of Health (MH087978, MH091372).


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