Developmental processes and the induction of cardiovascular function: conceptual aspects

Hanson, Mark A. and Gluckman, Peter D. (2005) Developmental processes and the induction of cardiovascular function: conceptual aspects. Journal of Physiology, 565, (1), 27-34. (doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2004.082339).


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The epidemiological basis of the developmental origins of disease concept is now widely accepted. The current impetus in research concerns establishing the underlying mechanisms. We discuss the wider biological nature of the phenomenon, with particular reference to ‘maternal effects’, the processes observed in many species by which the mother can induce phenotypic effects in her offspring. Animal models permit investigation of the induction of cardiovascular phenotypic attributes which resemble pathological effects in humans. We discuss the importance of transitions in aspects of the pre- versus the postnatal environment, with emphasis on nutrition and energy expenditure, and the critical role which the timing of environmental cues plays in inducing effects on the offspring. Coupled with the effects of specific maternal dietary components, the effects on the offspring are argued to involve epigenetic mechanisms. In this review we provide a conceptual framework for synthesising experimental and clinical data, important for considering the impact of the developmental origins concept in a life-course approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2004.082339
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
ePrint ID: 25585
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:47

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