Early-life environmental factors can have persistent effects on physiological functions by altering developmental procedures in various organisms. Recent experimental and epidemiological studies now further support the idea that developmental programming is also present in mammals, including humans, influencing long-term health. Although the mechanism of programming is still largely under investigation, the role of endocrine glucocorticoids in developmental programming is gaining interest. Studies found that perinatal glucocorticoids have a persistent effect on multiple functions of the body, including metabolic, behavioral, and immune functions, in adulthood. Several mechanisms have been proposed to play a role in long-term programming. In this review, recent findings on this topic are summarized and the potential biological rationale behind this phenomenon is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I apologize for not being able to cite all seminal papers on this subject due to limited space. This work was supported by the Yonsei Research Fund (2021-22-0049), Yonsei Signature Research Cluster Program of 2022 (2022-22-0013), and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning NRF-2022R1C1C1007283.
© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology