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Genes 2017, 8(6), 150; doi:10.3390/genes8060150

Maternal Factors that Induce Epigenetic Changes Contribute to Neurological Disorders in Offspring

1
Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117594, Singapore
2
Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences, A*STAR, Singapore 117609, Singapore
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dennis R. Grayson
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Epigenetic Gene Regulation in Brain Function)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1071 KB, uploaded 24 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

It is well established that the regulation of epigenetic factors, including chromatic reorganization, histone modifications, DNA methylation, and miRNA regulation, is critical for the normal development and functioning of the human brain. There are a number of maternal factors influencing epigenetic pathways such as lifestyle, including diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking, as well as age and infections (viral or bacterial). Genetic and metabolic alterations such as obesity, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and thyroidism alter epigenetic mechanisms, thereby contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) such as embryonic neural tube defects (NTDs), autism, Down’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, and later onset of neuropsychological deficits. This review comprehensively describes the recent findings in the epigenetic landscape contributing to altered molecular profiles resulting in NDs. Furthermore, we will discuss potential avenues for future research to identify diagnostic markers and therapeutic epi-drugs to reverse these abnormalities in the brain as epigenetic marks are plastic and reversible in nature. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetics; neurodevelopmental disorders; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); maternal factors; fetal development; lifestyle epigenetics; neurodevelopmental disorders; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); maternal factors; fetal development; lifestyle
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Banik, A.; Kandilya, D.; Ramya, S.; Stünkel, W.; Chong, Y.S.; Dheen, S.T. Maternal Factors that Induce Epigenetic Changes Contribute to Neurological Disorders in Offspring. Genes 2017, 8, 150.

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