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Innate fear responses are reflected in the blood epigenome of rhesus macaques.
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Innate fear responses are reflected in the blood epigenome of rhesus macaques.


Fear and anxiety are complex physiological states aimed at promoting adaptive behaviors. They are also core symptoms of many neuropsychiatric disorders; yet, our knowledge of the underlying biological correlates remains fragmented. Non-human primate models are critical for our understanding of mechanisms associated with complex higher-order behavioral phenotypes. Here we investigated individual variations in innate fear responses to a snake stimulus in free-ranging rhesus macaques and discovered an unusual bimodal distribution of fearful and fearless behavior, likely as a result of an environmental insult by a hurricane. In a translational approach, we discovered a DNA methylation profile associated with fear behavior in these monkeys. We also found evidence that this epigenetic signature is associated with innate fear responses in humans in the form of acoustic startle. Our data highlight the importance and translational utility of non-human primate models for neuropsychiatric research and provide a potential epigenetic signature of innate fear.



http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/202...38v1?rss=1
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