Journal article

Early life stress alters pituitary growth during adolescence-A longitudinal study

Despina E Ganella, Nicholas B Allen, Julian G Simmons, Orli Schwartz, Jee Hyun Kim, Lisa Sheeber, Sarah Whittle



The pituitary gland is integral in mediating the stress-response via its role in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. Pituitary gland volume (PGV) is altered in stress-related psychopathology, and one study to date has shown stress to be associated with age-related PGV change during adolescence. The current study investigated the effects of a number of different types of early life (i.e., childhood and adolescent) stress (including childhood maltreatment, stressful life events, and maternal affective behavior) on PGV development from mid- to late adolescence using a longitudinal design. The influence of PGV development on depressive and anxiety symptoms was also investigated. ..

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Awarded by Colonial Foundation in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Awarded by NHMRC Career Development Fellowship

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Colonial Foundation in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Program Grant 350241) and the Australian Research Council (ARC; Discovery Grant DP0878136). Dr. Whittle is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (ID: 1007716). Dr. Ganella is supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Researcher Award DE120100110 awarded to Dr. Kim.