Our research program focuses on the developmental origins of health and disease. Stressors, including altered diet, psychosocial stress, immune challenge, during gestation can have adverse consequences on the intrauterine environment and increase disease susceptibility of the developing fetus. The long-term effects on offspring include greater susceptibility to psychiatric disease, such as depression and anxiety disorders, and adverse metabolic conditions including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another area of interest in the lab is in eating disorders. We use a rat animal model of anorexia (“activity-based anorexia”) to identify the factors that serve to perpetuate and sustain anorexia nervosa-like behavior and increase the likelihood of relapse.
Studies in the laboratory use rodent models and incorporate a multilevel approach to determine the behavioral, physiological, and neural correlates of disease development. Genetic and epigenetic approaches are used to further elucidate molecular mechanisms that may increase susceptibility to psychiatric disease and will facilitate development of diagnostic biomarkers and novel clinical interventions for such conditions.
- Tamashiro KL, Terrillion CE, Hyun J, Koenig JI and Moran TH. Prenatal stress and high fat diet increase susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in offspring. Diabetes. 2009; 58(5):1116-25. PMID: 19188431.
- Lee RS*, Tamashiro KL*, Yang X, Purcell RH, Harvey A, Willour VL, Huo Y, Rongione M, Wand GS, and Potash JB. Chronic corticosterone exposure increases expression and decreases DNA methylation of the stress-associated gene Fkbp5 in mice. Endocrinology, 2010; 151(9):4332-43. PMID: 20668026 *These authors contributed equally.
- Lee RS, Tamashiro KL, Aryee MJ, Murakami P, Seifuddin F, Herb B, Huo Y, Rongione M, Feinberg AP, Moran TH, and Potash JB. Adaptation of the CHARM DNA methylation platform for the rat genome reveals novel brain region-specific differences. Epigenetics, 2011; 6(11), PMID: 22048247.
- Tamashiro, KL. Metabolic syndrome: Links to socioeconomic status and social stress. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2011; 1231(1):46-55. PMID: 21884160
- Sun B, Purcell RH, Terrillion CE, Moran TH, and Tamashiro KL. Maternal high-fat diet during gestation or suckling differentially affects offspring leptin sensitivity and obesity. Diabetes, 2012; 61(11):2833-41. PMID: 22751689
- Ismail N, Sotomayor-Zarate, R, Bale TL, Blaustein JD, Gysling K, and Tamashiro KL. Environmental influences that alter stress neurocircuitry. Hormones & Metabolism Research, 2012, 44(8):592-7. PMID: 22773371
- Boersma GJ, Bale TL, Casanello P, Lara HE, Lucion AB, Suchecki D, and Tamashiro KL. Long-term impact of early life events on physiology and behavior. Journal of Neuroendocrinol, 2014 Apr 1. doi: 10.1111/jne.12153. PMID: 24690036
- Boersma GJ, Lee RS, Cordner ZA, Ewald ER, Purcell RH, Moghadam AA, and Tamashiro KL. Prenatal stress decreases Bdnf expression and increases methylation of Bdnf exon IV in rats. Epigenetics, 2014 Mar 1; 9(3):437-47. PMID: 24365909