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Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Child health developmental plasticity, and epigenetic programming

item Zeev, Hochbert
item Feil, Robert
item Constancia, Miguel
item Frage, Mario
item Junien, Claudine
item Carel, J-c
item Boileau, Pascal
item Le Bouc, Yves
item Deal, Cl
item Lillycrop, Karen
item Scharfmann, Robert
item Sheppard, Albert
item Skinner, Michael
item Szyf, Moshe
item Waterland, Robert
item Waxman, David
item Whitelaw, Emma
item Ong, Kenneth
item Albertsson-wikland, Kerstin

Submitted to: Endocrine Reviews
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2010
Publication Date: 4/1/2011
Citation: Zeev, H., Feil, R., Constancia, M., Frage, M., Junien, C., Carel, J., Boileau, P., Le Bouc, Y., Deal, C., Lillycrop, K., Scharfmann, R., Sheppard, A., Skinner, M., Szyf, M., Waterland, R.A., Waxman, D.J., Whitelaw, E., Ong, K., Albertsson-Wikland, K. 2011. Child health developmental plasticity, and epigenetic programming. Endocrine Reviews. 32(2):159-224.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Plasticity in developmental programming has evolved in order to provide the best chances of survival and reproductive success to the organism under changing environments. Environmental conditions that are experienced in early life can profoundly influence human biology and long-term health. Developmental origins of health and disease and life-history transitions are purported to use placental, nutritional, and endocrine cues for setting long-term biological, mental, and behavioral strategies in response to local ecological and/or social conditions. The window of developmental plasticity extends from preconception to early childhood and involves epigenetic responses to environmental changes, which exert their effects during life-history phase transitions. These epigenetic responses influence development, cell- and tissue-specific gene expression, and sexual dimorphism, and, in exceptional cases, could be transmitted transgenerationally. Translational epigenetic research in child health is a reiterative process that ranges from research in the basic sciences, preclinical research, and pediatric clinical research. Identifying the epigenetic consequences of fetal programming creates potential applications in clinical practice: the development of epigenetic biomarkers for early diagnosis of disease, the ability to identify susceptible individuals at risk for adult diseases, and the development of novel preventive and curative measures that are based on diet and/or novel epigenetic drugs.