precision. This implies that many of the questions documented in this report regarding predisease pathways, positive health, inequalities, and community-level influences should be answerable in animal populations down to the level of gene expression. Such studies should stimulate a host of investigations on human populations that will provide a deeply more integrated understanding of pathways to diverse health outcomes.

RECOMMENDATIONS

NIH should support integrative research aimed at understanding the role of environmentally induced gene expression in disease etiology and promotion of health. This initiative should include:

  • studies that combine environmental manipulations with physiological and molecular assessments to provide refined understanding of conditions leading to dysfunction and the mechanisms that preserve allostasis;

  • studies that explore in animal models the relationships between chronic stress, interactions among intervening systems (e.g., HPA axis and immune systems), and health outcomes;

  • initiation of studies using microarray chip technologies to monitor gene expression associated with a broad range of environmental manipulations;

  • development of animal housing facilities, particularly for rodents, that more closely approximate species-specific natural habitats.

REFERENCES

Alon U , Barkai N , Notterman DA , Gish K , Ybarra S , Mack D , Levine AJ. 1999 “Patterns of gene expression revealed by clustering analysis of tumor and normal colon tissues probed by oligonucleotide arrays” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96 : 6745-6750 .

Andrews MW , Rosenblum LA. 1994 “The development of affiliative and agonistic social patterns in differentially reared monkeys” Child Development 65/5 : 1398-1404 .

Anisman H , Zaharia MD , Meaney MJ , Merali Z. 1998 “Do early-life events permanently alter behavioral and hormonal responses to stressors?” International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 16/3-4 : 149-164 .

Caldji C , Tannenbaum B , Sharma S , Francis D , Plotsky PM , Meaney MJ. 1998 “Maternal care during infancy regulates the development of neural systems mediating the expression of fearfulness in the rat” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95 : 5335-5340 .

Cho RJ , Fromont-Racene M , Wodicka L , Feierbach B , Stearns T , Legrain P , Lockhart DJ , Davis R. 1998 “Parallel analysis of genetic selections using whole genome oligonucleotide arrays” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95 : .



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