The effect of nutrition during early life on the epigenetic regulation of transcription and implications for human diseases


Lillycrop, Karen A. and Burdge, Graham C. (2011) The effect of nutrition during early life on the epigenetic regulation of transcription and implications for human diseases. Journal of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, 4, (5), 248-260. (doi:10.1159/000334857). (PMID:22353662).

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Description/Abstract

Epigenetic processes which include DNA methylation, histone modification and miRNAs are integral in determining when and where specific genes are expressed. There is now increasing evidence that the epigenome is susceptible to a variety of environmental cues, such as nutrition, during specific periods of development. The changes induced by early-life nutrition may reflect an adaptive response of the foetus to environmental cues acting through the process of developmental plasticity. This may allow an organism to adjust its developmental programme resulting in long-term changes in its metabolism and physiology in order to be better matched to the future environment. However, when the future environment lies outside the anticipated range, metabolic and homoeostatic capacity will be mismatched with the environment and that individual will be at increased risk of developing a range of non-communicable diseases. Thus the environmental regulation of epigenetic processes is a central component in the developmental origins of non-communicable diseases and our understanding of these processes is, therefore, critical both for the identification of individuals at risk and for the development of new intervention strategies.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1661-6499 (print)
1661-6758 (electronic)
Keywords: early life, epigenetics, nutrition, transcription
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Human Development and Health
ePrint ID: 337212
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2012 10:10
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:20
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337212

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