Submitted to: Nutrition Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2008
Publication Date: 7/29/2008
Citation: Waterland, R.A. 2008. Epigenetic epidemiology of obesity: Application of epigenomic technology. Nutrition Reviews. 66(Suppl. 1):S21-S23. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Compelling human epidemiologic and animal model data indicate that during critical periods of prenatal and postnatal mammalian development, nutrition and other environmental stimuli influence developmental pathways and thereby induce permanent changes in metabolism and chronic disease susceptibility. The biologic mechanisms underlying such 'metabolic imprinting' are poorly understood, but epigenetic mechanisms are likely involved. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable alterations in gene expression potential that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Transient environmental influences during development can cause permanent changes in epigenetic gene regulation, and accumulating evidence links epigenetic dysregulation to human disease.