Research project

Epigenetic Mechanisms in Response to Adversities in Animal and Man (DSB.AD004.067)

Thematic area

Biomedical sciences

Project area

Neuroscienze (DSB.AD004)

Structure responsible for the research project

Istituto di Biochimica e Biologia Cellulare (IBBC)

Project manager

Phone number: 06 501703276


In man, different early adverse events are associated with heightened risk for panic disorder (PD) in adulthood. We developed a mouse model of instability of the early environment based on repeated cross-fostering (RCF): our first results showed that the respiratory reactivity to CO2-enriched air can be modified by this form of environmental. We have found evidence of transgenerational transmission of the enhanced respiratory response to CO2 in normally-reared F1 pups born to F0 RCF dams. Thus, the physiological responses to CO2 are a sensible tool to study an important component of human PD in a translational comparative setting, and the responses to CO2 are susceptible to gene-environment interplay mechanisms. We plan to investigate epigenetic modifications and gene expression alterations in human MZ twin pairs discordant for CO2 reactivity, and epigenetic modifications and gene expression alterations throughout several time points and tissues of RCF mice and their offspring as compared to controls. We plan to compare genomic signatures identified in mice and men to identify key genomic loci possibly involved in trans-generational epigenetic transmission of CO2 hypersensitivity.


Comprensione dei meccanismi molecolari alla base del disturbo di panico nell'uomo e sviluppo di nuove strategie terapeutiche

Indagine dei fattori genetici che predispongono ad interazioni sociali positive nel topo

Start date of activity



animal model, CO2 hypersensitivity, epigenetic modifications

Last update: 20/04/2024