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Jay B Hollick
Paramutation describes a process that results in heritable epigenetic changes of gene regulation and trans-homologue interactions. Recent discoveries in model organisms have highlighted roles for the respective nuclear systems that regulate transposons via small RNA molecules both for paramutation and for defining transgenerational inheritance. Differences between plants and animals may influence specific transmission behaviours but the involvement of small RNA-based mechanisms identifies a unifying eukaryotic theme...
October 17, 2016: Nature Reviews. Genetics
D Caldwell Hahn, John C Wingfield, David M Fox, Brian G Walker, Jill E Thomley
In the coevolutionary dynamic of avian brood parasites and their hosts, maternal (or transgenerational) effects have rarely been investigated. We examined the potential role of elevated yolk testosterone in eggs of the principal brood parasite in North America, the brown-headed cowbird, and three of its frequent host species. Elevated maternal androgens in eggs are a common maternal effect observed in many avian species when breeding conditions are unfavorable. These steroids accelerate embryo development, shorten incubation period, increase nestling growth rate, and enhance begging vigor, all traits that can increase the survival of offspring...
October 13, 2016: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Cheryl Li, Olivia Casanueva
Abundant evidence shows that the genome is not as static as once thought and that gene expression can be reversibly modulated by the environment. In some cases, these changes can be transmitted to the next generation even if the environment has reverted. Such transgenerational epigenetic inheritance requires that information be stored in the germline in response to exogenous stressors. One of the most elusive questions in the field of epigenetic inheritance is the identity of such inherited factor(s). Answering this question would allow us to understand how the environment can shape human populations for multiple generations and may help to explain the rapid rise in obesity and neurodegenerative diseases in modern society...
October 15, 2016: Essays in Biochemistry
Giridhara R Babu, Gvs Murthy, R Deepa, Yamuna, Prafulla, H Kiran Kumar, Maithili Karthik, Keerti Deshpande, Sara E Benjamin Neelon, D Prabhakaran, Anura Kurpad, Sanjay Kinra
BACKGROUND: India is experiencing an epidemic of obesity-hyperglycaemia, which coincides with child bearing age for women. The epidemic can be sustained and augmented through transgenerational transmission of adiposity and glucose intolerance in women. This presents an opportunity for exploring a clear strategy for the control of this epidemic in India. We conducted a study between November 2013 and May 2015 to inform the design of a large pregnancy cohort study. Based on the findings of this pilot, we developed the protocol for the proposed birth cohort of 5000 women, the recruitment for which will start in April 2016...
October 14, 2016: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Emilien Luquet, Juliette Tariel
BACKGROUND: Within-generational plasticity (WGP) and transgenerational plasticity (TGP) are mechanisms allowing rapid adaptive responses to fluctuating environments without genetic change. These forms of plasticity have often been viewed as independent processes. Recent evidence suggests that WGP is altered by the environmental conditions experienced by previous generations (i.e., TGP). In the context of inducible defenses, one of the most studied cases of plasticity, the WGP x TGP interaction has been poorly investigated...
October 12, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Leandro Quadrana, Vincent Colot
Transgenerational epigenetics is defined in opposition to developmental epigenetics and implies an absence of resetting of epigenetic states between generations. Unlike mammals, plants appear to be particularly prone to this type of inheritance. In this review, we summarize our knowledge about transgenerational epigenetics in plants, which entails heritable changes in DNA methylation. We emphasize the role of transposable elements and other repeat sequences in the creation of epimutable alleles. We also argue that because reprogramming of DNA methylation across generations seems limited in plants, the inheritance of DNA methylation defects results from the failure to reinforce rather than reset this modification during sexual reproduction...
October 6, 2016: Annual Review of Genetics
Dan T A Eisenberg, Justin Tackney, Richard M Cawthon, Christina Theresa Cloutier, Kristen Hawkes
: Telomeres are repeating DNA at chromosome ends. Telomere length (TL) declines with age in most human tissues, and shorter TL is thought to accelerate senescence. In contrast, older men have sperm with longer TL; correspondingly, older paternal age at conception (PAC) predicts longer TL in offspring. This PAC-effect could be a unique form of transgenerational genetic plasticity that modifies somatic maintenance in response to cues of recent ancestral experience. The PAC-effect has not been examined in any non-human mammals...
October 12, 2016: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Angela Zacharasiewicz
Maternal smoking in pregnancy (MSP) is a large modifiable risk factor for pregnancy related mortality and morbidity and also the most important known modifiable risk factor for asthma. This review summarises the effects of MSP throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence with regards to asthma (development and severity). Firstly, the direct damage caused by nicotine on fetal lung development, fetal growth and neuronal differentiation is discussed, as well as the indirect effects of nicotine on placental functioning...
July 2016: ERJ Open Research
Fair M Vassoler, David J Oliver, Cristina Wyse, Ashley Blau, Michael Shtutman, Jill R Turner, Elizabeth M Byrnes
The United States is in the midst of an opiate epidemic, with abuse of prescription and illegal opioids increasing steadily over the past decade. While it is clear that there is a genetic component to opioid addiction, there is a significant portion of heritability that cannot be explained by genetics alone. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that maternal exposure to opioids prior to pregnancy alters abuse liability in subsequent generations. Female adolescent Sprague Dawley rats were administered morphine at increasing doses (5-25 mg/kg, s...
October 8, 2016: Neuropharmacology
Hideoki Fukuoka, Fumihiro Sata
Epigenetic modification takes place in many types of environment. Undesirable epigenetic changes for the postnatal life at the developmental stage are induced in utero by exposure to harsh environment such as endocrine disruptors, severe psychological stress and insufficient or excessive nutrition. Some of these changes continues even for a long time after birth from womb to tomb. Under these circumstances with an unhealthy life style, such as higher caloric intake, insufficient exercise, or stress, there is a higher risk of developing various illnesses including lifestyle-related diseases, such as essential hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, psychological disorders and cancers...
2016: Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Hygiene
Andrea Romano, Barbara De Giorgio, Marco Parolini, Chiara Favero, Cristina Daniela Possenti, Simona Iodice, Manuela Caprioli, Diego Rubolini, Roberto Ambrosini, Luca Gianfranceschi, Nicola Saino, Valentina Bollati
The consequences of exposure to particulate matter (PM) have been thoroughly investigated in humans and other model species, but there is a dearth of studies of the effects of PM on physiology and life-history traits of non-human organisms living in natural or semi-natural environments. Besides toxicological relevance, PM has been recently suggested to exert epigenetic effects by altering DNA methylation patterns. Here, we investigated for the first time the association between the exposure to free-air PM10 and DNA methylation at two loci ('poly-Q exon' and '5'-UTR') of the Clock gene in blood cells of the nestlings of a synanthropic passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)...
October 3, 2016: Environmental Pollution
A K Carlson, Q E Phelps, B D S Graeb
Otolith chemistry is an effective technique for evaluating fish environmental history, but its utility in fisheries management has not been comprehensively examined. Thus, a review of otolith chemistry with emphasis on management applicability is presented. More than 1500 otolith chemistry manuscripts published from 1967 to 2015 are reviewed and descriptive case studies are used to illustrate the utility of otolith chemistry as a fisheries management tool. Otolith chemistry publications span a wide variety of topics (e...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Fish Biology
G R Fries, C Walss-Bass, J C Soares, J Quevedo
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 4, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
Lisa N S Shama, Felix C Mark, Anneli Strobel, Ana Lokmer, Uwe John, K Mathias Wegner
Transgenerational effects can buffer populations against environmental change, yet little is known about underlying mechanisms, their persistence or the influence of environmental cue timing. We investigated mitochondrial respiratory capacity (MRC) and gene expression of marine sticklebacks that experienced acute or developmental acclimation to simulated ocean warming (21°C) across three generations. Previous work showed that acute acclimation of grandmothers to 21°C led to lower (optimized) offspring MRCs...
October 2016: Evolutionary Applications
Jennifer M Donelson, Marian Wong, David J Booth, Philip L Munday
Predicting the impacts of climate change to biological systems requires an understanding of the ability for species to acclimate to the projected environmental change through phenotypic plasticity. Determining the effects of higher temperatures on individual performance is made more complex by the potential for environmental conditions experienced in previous and current generations to independently affect phenotypic responses to high temperatures. We used a model coral reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) to investigate the influence of thermal conditions experienced by two generations on reproductive output and the quality of offspring produced by adults...
October 2016: Evolutionary Applications
Piero Calosi, Pierre De Wit, Peter Thor, Sam Dupont
Projections of marine biodiversity and implementation of effective actions for its maintenance in the face of current rapid global environmental change are constrained by our limited understanding of species' adaptive responses, including transgenerational plasticity, epigenetics and natural selection. This special issue presents 13 novel studies, which employ experimental and modelling approaches to (i) investigate plastic and evolutionary responses of marine species to major global change drivers; (ii) ask relevant broad eco-evolutionary questions, implementing multiple species and populations studies; (iii) show the advantages of using advanced experimental designs and tools; (iv) construct novel model organisms for marine evolution; (v) help identifying future challenges for the field; and (vi) highlight the importance of incorporating existing evolutionary theory into management solutions for the marine realm...
October 2016: Evolutionary Applications
Ruyan Wu, Hailou Zhang, Wenda Xue, Zhilu Zou, Cai Lu, Baomei Xia, Wei Wang, Gang Chen
Postpartum depression (PPD) has adverse effects on offspring and increases their vulnerability to psychiatric disorders such as depression. Akt-mTOR signaling in the hippocampus is implicated in depression but its role in the behavioral deficits in PPD offspring remains unknown. By using a prepregnancy stress model of PPD in which Balb/c females that experience chronic stress before pregnancy show long-lasting PPD-like behaviors, we tested depression-like behaviors in PPD offspring (PPD-F1) at juvenile and adult ages as well as in the second generation (PPD-F2) produced by cross of male PPD-F1 with naïve females...
September 28, 2016: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
R Pigeault, R Garnier, A Rivero, S Gandon
Over a decade ago, the discovery of transgenerational immunity in invertebrates shifted existing paradigms on the lack of sophistication of their immune system. Nonetheless, the prevalence of this trait and the ecological factors driving its evolution in invertebrates remain poorly understood. Here, we develop a theoretical host-parasite model and predict that long lifespan and low dispersal should promote the evolution of transgenerational immunity. We also predict that in species that produce both philopatric and dispersing individuals, it may pay to have a plastic allocation strategy with a higher transgenerational immunity investment in philopatric offspring because they are more likely to encounter locally adapted pathogens...
September 28, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Xiefan Fang, Ryan R Poulsen, Scott A Rivkees, Christopher C Wendler
Each year millions of pregnant woman are exposed to caffeine, which acts to antagonize adenosine action. The long-term consequences of this exposure on the developing fetus are largely unknown, although in animal models we have found adverse effects on cardiac function. To assess if these effects are transmitted transgenerationally, we exposed pregnant mice to caffeine equivalent to 2-4 cups of coffee at two embryonic stages. Embryos (F1 generation) exposed to caffeine early from embryonic (E) day 6.5-9.5 developed a phenotype similar to dilated cardiomyopathy by 1 year of age...
September 28, 2016: Scientific Reports
F Razoux, H Russig, T Mueggler, C Baltes, K Dikaiou, M Rudin, I M Mansuy
Traumatic stress in early life is a strong risk factor for psychiatric disorders that can affect individuals across several generations. Although the underlying mechanisms have been proposed to implicate serotonergic transmission in the brain, the neural circuits involved remain poorly delineated. Using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging in mice, we demonstrate that traumatic stress in postnatal life alters 5-HT1A receptor-evoked local and global functions in both, the exposed animals and their progeny when adult...
September 27, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
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