Sonja Entringer

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
School of Medicine

Investigator, UC Irvine Development, Health and Disease Research Program

Ph.D., University of Trier, Germany, 2006, Psychobiology

Phone: (714) 940-1923
Fax: (714) 940-1939

University of California, Irvine
333 The City Drive (West), Suite 1200
Orange, CA 92868

picture of Sonja  Entringer

fetal/developmental programming of health and disease risk, behavioral medicine, stress, pregnancy, fetal development, neuroendocrine, immune, genetic, epigenetic, maternal-child health
The UC Irvine Development, Health and Disease Research Program is a transdisciplinary effort to elucidate the interplay between biological, social, behavioral and environmental determinants of early human development, with an emphasis on outcomes related to fetal growth and maturation, premature birth, and newborn, infant and child health and disease risk, and on maternal-placental-fetal endocrine, immune and genetic mechanisms.

Findings from our studies converge to suggest that after accounting for the effects of other established sociodemographic and obstetric risk factors, maternal stress exposure is significantly and independently associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes related to the length of gestation (preterm birth) and fetal growth [low birth weight/small-for-gestational age (SGA) birth]. Our studies further suggest these effects of maternal stress are mediated, in part, by alterations in maternal–placental–fetal (MPF) endocrine and immune processes. A more recent set of our findings suggest that exposure to stress during intrauterine life also may independently confer increased long-term risk (in young adults) of a range of negative physical and mental health outcomes, including glucose-insulin and lipid metabolic dysfunction; immune dysfunction, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal endocrine dysregulation, and cognitive (working memory) dysfunction.

Our ongoing work addresses (a) the role of maternal–fetal gene–environment interactions, with a focus on genes and gene networks implicated in the regulation of key enzyme systems, steroid hormones and other peptides that regulate fetal development and birth outcomes, (b) the role of mitochondrial genetic variation on pregnancy, birth and infant health outcomes, (c) the role of maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory processes across gestation as key mediators of fetal programming of newborn and infant outcomes, including body composition, energy balance, metabolic function and obesity risk, and brain morphology, white matter maturation and function, and (d) the biobehavioral basis for the well-documented racial/ethnic disparities and the Hispanic acculturation paradox in reproductive and child health outcomes.

Entringer S, Epel ES, Kumsta R, Lin J, Hellhammer DH, Blackburn EH, Wust S, & Wadhwa PD. Stress exposure in intrauterine life is associated with shorter telomere length in young adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, in press.

Wadhwa PD, Entringer S, Buss C, & Lu MC. The contribution of maternal stress to preterm birth: issues and considerations. Clinics in Perinatology, in press.

Entringer S, Buss C, Andersen J, Chicz-DeMet A, & Wadhwa PD. Ecological momentary assessment of maternal cortisol profiles over a multiple-day period predicts the length of human gestation. Psychosomatic Medicine (2011), 73(6):469-474.

Cammack AL, Buss C, Entringer S, Hogue CJ, Hobel CJ, & Wadhwa PD. The association between early life adversity and bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2011), 204(5):431.e1-8.

Entringer S, Buss C, & Wadhwa PD. Prenatal stress and developmental programming of human health and disease risk: concepts and integration of empirical findings. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity. 2010, 17(6): 507-516.

Entringer S, Buss C, Shirtcliff EA, Yim IS, Cammack AL, Chicz-DeMet A, Sandman CA, & Wadhwa PD. Attenuation of maternal psychophysiological stress responses over the course of human pregnancy. Stress, 2010, 13(3): 258-268.

Hitze B, Hubold C, van Dyken R, Schlichting K, Lehnert H, Entringer S, Peters A. The Selfish Brain’s supply and demand. Frontiers in Neuroenergetics, 2010, 2:7.

van Leeuwen N, Kumsta R, Entringer S, de Kloet R, Zitman FG, DeRijk R, Wüst S. Functional MR gene variation influences the cortisol awakening response after dexamethasone. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2010, Apr;35(3):339-349.

Kumsta R, Entringer S, Koper JW, Van Rossum EF, Hellhammer DH, Wüst S. GR polymorphism A3669G in exon 9beta has sex specific effects on working memory performance. Neuropsychobiology, 2010, 61(1):49-56.

Entringer S, Kumsta R, Hellhammer DH, Wadhwa PD, Wüst S. Prenatal exposure to maternal psychosocial stress and HPA axis regulation in young adults. Hormones and Behavior, 2009, 55(2):292-298.

Entringer S, Buss C, Kumsta R, Hellhammer DH, Wadhwa PD, Wüst, S. Prenatal psychosocial stress is associated with subsequent working memory performance in young women. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2009, 123(4):886-893.

Wüst S, Kumsta R, Treutlein J, Frank J, Entringer S, Schulze TG, Rietschel M. Sex-specific associations between the 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region and basal cortisol secretion. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2009, 34(7): 972-82.

Wadhwa PD, Buss C, Entringer S, & Swanson J. Developmental origins of health and disease: brief history of the approach and current focus on epigenetic mechanisms. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 2009, 27:358-368.

Swanson JM, Entringer S, Buss C & Wadhwa PD. Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Environmental Exposures. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 2009, 27:391-402.

Buss C, Entringer S, Cammack AL, Jonazary FR, Chicz-DeMet A, Sandman CA, & Wadhwa PD. The maternal cortisol awakening response (CAR) in human pregnancy is associated with the length of gestation. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009, 201(4):398.e1-8. Epub 2009 Aug 29.

Entringer S, Wüst S, Kumsta R, Layes IM, Nelson EL, Hellhammer DH, & Wadhwa PD. Prenatal psychosocial stress exposure is associated with insulin resistance in young adults. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2008, 199(5), 498.e1-7. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Entringer S, Kumsta R, Nelson EL, Hellhammer DH, Wadhwa PD, & Wüst S. Influence of prenatal psychosocial stress exposure on immune function in adult women. Developmental Psychobiology, 2008, 50(6):579-587.

Rietschel M, Beckmann L, Strohmaier J, Georgi A, Karpushova A, Schirmbeck F, Boesshenz K, Schmäl C, Bürger C, Abou Jamra R, Schumacher J, Höfels S, Kumsta R, Entringer S, Krug A, Markov V, Propping P, Wüst S, Kircher T, Nöthen M, Cichon S, Schulze TG. G72 is associated with both major depression and neuroticism in large population-based samples from Germany. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2008, 165(6):753-62.

Kumsta R, Entringer S, Koper JW, Van Rossum EF, Hellhammer DH, Wüst S. Glucocorticoid receptor gene polymorphisms and glucocorticoid sensitivity of subdermal blood vessels and leukocytes. Biological Psychology, 2008, 79:179–184.

Schlotz W, Kumsta R, Layes I, Entringer S, Jones A, Wüst S. Covariance between psychological and endocrine responses to pharmacological challenge and psychosocial stress: a question of timing. Psychosomatic Medicine, 2008, 70:787–796.

Kumsta R, Entringer S, Koper JW, van Rossum EF, Hellhammer DH, Wuest S. Sex Specific Associations between Common Glucocorticoid Receptor Gene Variants and Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Responses to Psychosocial Stress. Biological Psychiatry, 2007, 62(8):863-869.

Kumsta R, Entringer S, Hellhammer DH, Wuest S (2007) Cortisol and ACTH responses to psychosocial stress are modulated by corticosteroid binding globulin levels. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2007, 32(8-10):1153-1157.

Wüst S, Entringer S, Federenko IS, Schlotz W, Hellhammer DH. Birth weight is associated with salivary cortisol responses to psychosocial stress in adult life. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2005, 30(6):591-98.

Wüst S, Federenko IS, Van Rossum EF, Koper JW, Kumsta R, Entringer S, Hellhammer DH. A psychobiological perspective on genetic determinants of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2004, 1032, 52-62.
Grants Principal Investigator, Prenatal Stress Biology, Infant Body Composition and Obesity Risk (Sonja Entringer, PI). NIH/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD-065825); $1,965,485 direct costs; 07/2010 – 06/2015.
Co-Principal Investigator, Biological Moderators of Cortisol Activity in Human Pregnancy: a NCS Formative Research Project. NIH/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HHSN-275200503415C); $382,141 direct costs; 10/2010 – 03/2012.
Co-Investigator, Gene-Environment Interactions in Human Parturition (Pathik Wadhwa, PI). NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Program Project Grant (PO1 HD-047609); $5,384,902 direct costs; 07/2005 - 06/2011.
Co-Investigator, Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) of Biobehavioral Processes in Human Pregnancy (Pathik Wadhwa, PI). NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 HD-060628); $2,364,828 direct costs; 02/2010 - 01/2015.
Co-Investigator, Fetal Programming of the Newborn and Infant Human Brain (Claudia Buss, PI). NIH/ National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH-091351); $2,402,334 direct costs; 12/2010-11/2015.
Co-Investigator, Self-Reported Stress and Stress Biomarkers - Development of an Optimized Measure of Chronic Stress in Human Pregnancy: a National Children’s Study (NCS) Formative Research Project (Pathik Wadhwa, PI). NIH/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HHSN-275200503415C); $924,861 direct costs; 10/2010 – 03/2012.
Co-Investigator, Self Report and Biological Measures of Maternal Stress Using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) Methodology in Human Pregnancy: a NCS Formative Research Project (Pathik Wadhwa, PI). NIH/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HHSN-275200503415C); $287,040 direct costs; 10/2010 – 03/2012.
Link to this profile
Last updated 10/28/2011