About this Research Topic
The papers would explore on the association between perinatal metabolic insults and postnatal development, resulting in increased vulnerability for mental diseases with delayed onset. The papers would entail experimental and preclinical studies, with perspectives for translational medicine.
The key issue is that primary insults induce a chain reaction of metabolic events including compensatory mechanisms of recovery that altogether prime the system for enhanced vulnerability to subsequent developmental/environmental impact, hence increasing the odds for clinical onset of mental and/or neurological diseases.
Perinatal asphyxia constitutes a prototype of obstetric complications occurring when pulmonary oxygenation is delayed or interrupted. Upon re-oxygenation, however, not always proper homeostasis is achieved. Compensatory mechanisms often result in over-activation of sentinel and inflammatory pathways to protect the integrity of the genome and to re-establish adequate metabolism, a mechanism causing secondary damage.
In all these events, the view of System Biology is essential, because the consequences of perinatal insults not only affect single molecules, cell types, neurocircuitries or peripheral tissues, but exert long-term, substantial influences on the whole brain (and the periphery). The proposed outcome – a mental disorder – encompasses changes of gene expression, misprogrammed neuronal wiring and resultant neurocircuitries, as well as improper behavioural repertoires. To this end, the contributors of this group of articles will be asked to display or extend their reviews with taking this aspect into account.
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