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Environmental Epigenetics

Rita S Strakovsky, Susan L Schantz
The placenta guides fetal growth and development. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are widespread environmental contaminants and endocrine disruptors, and the placental epigenetic response to these chemicals is an area of growing research interest. Therefore, our objective was to summarize research linking BPA or phthalate exposure to placental outcomes in human pregnancies, with a particular focus on epigenetic endpoints. In PubMed, studies were selected for review (without limiting start date and ending on 1 May 2018) if they reported any direct effects of BPA or phthalates on the placenta in humans...
July 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Xue Zhang, Xiaoting Chen, Matthew T Weirauch, Xiang Zhang, J D Burleson, Eric B Brandt, Hong Ji
Exposures to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) from traffic and house dust mite (HDM) allergens significantly increase risks of airway diseases, including asthma. This negative impact of DEP and HDM may in part be mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. Beyond functioning as a mechanical barrier, airway epithelial cells provide the first line of immune defense towards DEP and HDM exposures. To understand the epigenetic responses of airway epithelial cells to these exposures, we exposed human bronchial epithelial cells to DEP and HDM and studied genome-wide 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxy-methylcytosine (5hmC) at base resolution...
July 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Joseph Kochmanski, Elizabeth H Marchlewicz, Dana C Dolinoy
Research indicates that environmental factors can alter DNA methylation, but the specific effects of environmental exposures on epigenetic aging remain unclear. Here, using a mouse model of human-relevant exposures, we tested the hypothesis that early-life exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), variable diet, and/or changes in physical activity would modify rates of age-related methylation at several target regions, as measured from longitudinal blood samples (2, 4, and 10 months old). DNA methylation was quantified at two repetitive elements (LINE-1, IAP), two imprinted genes ( Igf2, H19 ), and one non-imprinted gene ( Esr1 ) in isogenic mice developmentally exposed to Control, Control + BPA (50 µg/kg diet), Western high-fat diet (WHFD), or Western + BPA diets...
July 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Gretchen van Steenwyk, Martin Roszkowski, Francesca Manuella, Tamara B Franklin, Isabelle M Mansuy
In the past decades, evidence supporting the transmission of acquired traits across generations has reshaped the field of genetics and the understanding of disease susceptibility. In humans, pioneer studies showed that exposure to famine, endocrine disruptors or trauma can affect descendants, and has led to a paradigm shift in thinking about heredity. Studies in humans have however been limited by the low number of successive generations, the different conditions that can be examined, and the lack of mechanistic insight they can provide...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Hiba Zaidan, Gokul Ramaswami, Michal Barak, Jin B Li, Inna Gaisler-Salomon
Adenosine to inosine RNA editing is an epigenetic process that entails site-specific modifications in double-stranded RNA molecules, catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs). Using the multiplex microfluidic PCR and deep sequencing technique, we recently showed that exposing adolescent female rats to chronic unpredictable stress before reproduction affects editing in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of their newborn offspring, particularly at the serotonin receptor 5-HT2c (encoded by Htr2c) ...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Maurizio Meloni, Ruth Müller
Research in environmental epigenetics explores how environmental exposures and life experiences such as food, toxins, stress or trauma can shape trajectories of human health and well-being in complex ways. This perspective resonates with social science expertise on the significant health impacts of unequal living conditions and the profound influence of social life on bodies in general. Environmental epigenetics could thus provide an important opportunity for moving beyond long-standing debates about nature versus nurture between the disciplines and think instead in 'biosocial' terms across the disciplines...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Arina Rawat, Jackey Guo, Thibault Renoir, Terence Y Pang, Anthony J Hannan
The male germ line is capable of transmitting a legacy of stress exposure to the next generation of offspring. This transgenerational process manifests by altering offspring affective behaviours, cognition and metabolism. Paternal early life trauma causes hippocampal serotonergic dysregulation in male offspring. We previously showed a transgenerational modification to male offspring anxiety-like behaviours by treatment of adult male breeders with corticosterone (CORT) prior to mating. In the present study, we used offspring from our paternal CORT model and characterised offspring serotonergic function by examining their responses to the 5HT1A R agonist, 8-OH-DPAT, and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, sertraline...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Rachel Yehuda, Amy Lehrner, Linda M Bierer
There has been great interest in the possibility that effects of trauma might be passed from parent to offspring through epigenetic mechanisms. This topic has stimulated discussion and controversy in the scientific literature, the popular press, and culture at large. This article describes the initial observations that have led to recent examinations of epigenetic mechanisms in association with effects of parental trauma exposure on offspring. Epigenetic research in animals has provided models for how such effects might be transmitted...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Eric E Nilsson, Ingrid Sadler-Riggleman, Michael K Skinner
Ancestral environmental exposures such as toxicants, abnormal nutrition or stress can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation. These environmental factors induce the epigenetic reprogramming of the germline (sperm and egg). The germline epimutations can in turn increase disease susceptibility of subsequent generations of the exposed ancestors. A variety of environmental factors, species and exposure specificity of this induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease is discussed with a consideration of generational toxicology...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Olivia Engmann
More than 1 billion cattle are raised annually for meat and milk production. Dairy cows are repeatedly impregnated and separated from their calves, usually within the first 24 h after birth. Here, I suggest that dairy cows undergo a procedure comparable to the 'Maternal separation combined with unpredictable maternal stress' paradigm (MSUS), which is used to study the non-genetic inheritance (NGI) of phenotypes in rodents. I discuss what research on dairy cows may bring to the research field of NGI. The resulting research findings are likely to have benefits to our understanding of MSUS, NGI and consumer safety...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Johannes Bohacek, Olivia Engmann, Pierre-Luc Germain, Silvia Schelbert, Isabelle M Mansuy
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
A Weyrich, M Jeschek, K T Schrapers, D Lenz, T H Chung, K Rübensam, S Yasar, M Schneemann, S Ortmann, K Jewgenow, J Fickel
Epigenetic modifications, of which DNA methylation is the most stable, are a mechanism conveying environmental information to subsequent generations via parental germ lines. The paternal contribution to adaptive processes in the offspring might be crucial, but has been widely neglected in comparison to the maternal one. To address the paternal impact on the offspring's adaptability to changes in diet composition, we investigated if low protein diet (LPD) in F0 males caused epigenetic alterations in their subsequently sired sons...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Millissia Ben Maamar, Ingrid Sadler-Riggleman, Daniel Beck, Margaux McBirney, Eric Nilsson, Rachel Klukovich, Yeming Xie, Chong Tang, Wei Yan, Michael K Skinner
Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation can be induced by several toxicants, such as vinclozolin. This phenomenon can involve DNA methylation, non-coding RNA (ncRNA) and histone retention, and/or modification in the germline (e.g. sperm). These different epigenetic marks are called epimutations and can transmit in part the transgenerational phenotypes. This study was designed to investigate the vinclozolin-induced concurrent alterations of a number of different epigenetic factors, including DNA methylation, ncRNA, and histone retention in rat sperm...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna, Mireille Morisson, Laurence Liaubet, T Bas Rodenburg, Elske N de Haas, Ľubor Košťál, Frédérique Pitel
While it has been shown that epigenetics accounts for a portion of the variability of complex traits linked to interactions with the environment, the real contribution of epigenetics to phenotypic variation remains to be assessed. In recent years, a growing number of studies have revealed that epigenetic modifications can be transmitted across generations in several animal species. Numerous studies have demonstrated inter- or multi-generational effects of changing environment in birds, but very few studies have been published showing epigenetic transgenerational inheritance in these species...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Adelheid Soubry
The growing field of 'Developmental Origin of Health and Disease' (DOHaD) generally reflects environmental influences from mother to child. The importance of maternal lifestyle, diet and other environmental exposures before and during gestation period is well recognized. However, few epidemiological designs explore potential influences from the paternal environment on offspring health. This is surprising given that numerous animal models have provided evidence that the paternal environment plays a role in a non-genetic inheritance of pre-conceptional exposures through the male germ line...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Minoo Rassoulzadegan, François Cuzin
RNA-based inheritance provides a reasonable hypothesis to explain multigenerational maintenance of the disease in the progeny of either a male or female parent suffering from the metabolic syndrome (obesity and type 2 diabetes) induced by abnormal diet. Although, it is still difficult to formulate a complete rational mechanism, study of inheritance is a most direct way to learn about the epigenetic control of gene expression and we wished to summarised our current approach along this line.
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Marcus E Pembrey
Human studies of cross-generational epigenetic inheritance have to consider confounding by social patterning down the generations, often referred to as 'cultural inheritance'. This raises the question to what extent is 'cultural inheritance' itself epigenetically mediated rather than just learnt. Human studies of non-genetic inheritance have demonstrated that, beyond foetal life, experiences occurring in mid-childhood before puberty are the most likely to be associated with cross-generational responses in the next generation(s)...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Frances Xin, Lauren M Smith, Martha Susiarjo, Marisa S Bartolomei, Karl J Jepsen
Early life exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been associated with physiological changes of endocrine-sensitive tissues throughout postnatal life. Although hormones play a critical role in skeletal growth and maintenance, the effects of prenatal EDC exposure on adult bone health are not well understood. Moreover, studies assessing skeletal changes across multiple generations are limited. In this article, we present previously unpublished data demonstrating dose-, sex-, and generation-specific changes in bone morphology and function in adult mice developmentally exposed to the model estrogenic EDC bisphenol A (BPA) at doses of 10 μg (lower dose) or 10 mg per kg bw/d (upper dose) throughout gestation and lactation...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Jill Escher
In a seeming paradox, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has surged, while at the same time research has pointed to the strong heritability of this neurodevelopmental pathology. Here an autism research philanthropist suggests a biological phenomenon of exogenously induced 'gamete disruption' that could reconcile these seemingly contradictory observations. Mining information from her own family history and that of her fellow autism parents, while also engaging with the scientific community, she proposes that a subset of the autisms may be rooted in a variety of molecular glitches in parental gametes induced by certain acute exposures during the parents' own fetal or neonatal development...
April 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
Robert G Poston, Carissa J Dunn, Pushpita Sarkar, Ramendra N Saha
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a pervasive class of brominated flame retardants that are present in the environment at particularly high levels, especially in the United States. Their environmental stability, propensity for bioaccumulation, and known potential for neurotoxicity has evoked interest regarding their effects on the developing nervous system. Exposure to PBDEs has been strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the details of their mechanistic roles in such disorders are incompletely understood...
January 2018: Environmental Epigenetics
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