Preliminary associations between childhood neglect, MIF, and cortisol: Potential pathways to long-term disease risk

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The study examined Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory signaling in 206 youth with histories of prenatal drug exposure and self-reported histories of maltreatment. Youth with histories of severe neglect showed elevated levels of cortisol, the end product of the HPA axis, in comparison to youth with lower or minimal levels of neglect. Histories of severe neglect also were associated with increased levels of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), a cytokine known to be intricately involved in HPA axis regulation. Salivary MIF levels also were positively associated with youth age and prenatal drug exposure. These MIF and cortisol alterations may signal pathophysiological disruptions in the neuro-endocrine and immune systems, which may lead to trajectories of increased disease risk among vulnerable youth. Our findings also provide preliminary support for the validity and reliability of a noninvasive salivary assessment of MIF.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bick J; Nguyen V; Leng L; Piecychna M; Crowley MJ; Bucala R; Mayes LC; Grigorenko EL
  • Start Page

  • 131
  • End Page

  • 139
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 1