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TransCTNeurodev SIGNED

Transgenerational transmission of maternal childhood trauma and its sequelae – Altered maternal physiology during pregnancy and implications for newborn neurodevelopment

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 TransCTNeurodev project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the TransCTNeurodev project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "TransCTNeurodev" about.

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Project "TransCTNeurodev" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Chariteplatz 1
city: BERLIN
postcode: 10117

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙496˙132 €
 EC max contribution 1˙496˙132 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-11-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Alarming statistics in a recent report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights suggest that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence in childhood. The sequelae of childhood trauma (CT) exposure include psychopathology, altered stress physiology, obesity, and increased likelihood of exposure to violence in adulthood. Also, emerging evidence suggests the long shadow cast by CT may be transmitted to the offspring of exposed individuals, who have a higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders. To date, potential pathways of transgenerational transmission have focused on the offspring’s exposure to unfavorable conditions in postnatal life (i.e., suboptimal parenting behaviors). However, it is likely that transgenerational transmission of the effects of maternal CT may start during fetal life. It is well established that CT produces endocrine and immunological dysregulation, and the persistence of such dysregulation during pregnancy may affect fetal brain development to confer increased risk for psychopathology. Despite its plausibility, fetal programming has not yet been studied as a potential transmission pathway of the effects of CT from mother to child. In this proposed prospective, longitudinal study, 200 mother-child dyads will be followed from early gestation till the neonatal period. Serial measures of stress-related endocrine (CRH, cortisol) and immune (CRP, IL-6) biology will be collected in early, mid and late gestation. At birth newborn MRI scans will be acquired to quantify volumes and connectivity of fronto-limbic brain regions. The proposed study will address specific hypotheses about the transgenerational transmission during gestation of the effects of maternal CT on her child’s brain and the role of maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune biology as a mediator of this effect. Study findings may suggest new avenues for development of prevention and intervention strategies to limit the transgenerational perpetuation of poor health.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Christine M. Heim, Sonja Entringer, Claudia Buss
Translating basic research knowledge on the biological embedding of early-life stress into novel approaches for the developmental programming of lifelong health
published pages: , ISSN: 0306-4530, DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.12.011
Psychoneuroendocrinology 2019-05-22
2019 Philipp Toepfer, Kieran J. O\'Donnell, Sonja Entringer, Christine M. Heim, David T.S. Lin, Julia L. MacIsaac, Michael S. Kobor, Michael J. Meaney, Nadine Provençal, Elisabeth B. Binder, Pathik D. Wadhwa, Claudia Buss
A Role of Oxytocin Receptor Gene Brain Tissue Expression Quantitative Trait Locus rs237895 in the Intergenerational Transmission of the Effects of Maternal Childhood Maltreatment
published pages: , ISSN: 0890-8567, DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2019.03.006
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2019-05-22

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