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Review

Maternal One-Carbon Metabolism during the Periconceptional Period and Human Foetal Brain Growth: A Systematic Review

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Department of Physiology and Animal Health, Institute of Physiology and Animal Health, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, H-2100 Gödöllő, Hungary
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BioTalentum Ltd., H-2100 Gödöllő, Hungary
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School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham LE12 5RD, UK
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HCEMM-USZ Stem Cell Research Group, Hungarian Centre of Excellence for Molecular Medicine, H-6723 Szeged, Hungary
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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martine De Rycke
Genes 2021, 12(10), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101634
Received: 13 September 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 12 October 2021 / Published: 17 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Safety after Assisted Reproductive Technologies)
The maternal environment during the periconceptional period influences foetal growth and development, in part, via epigenetic mechanisms moderated by one-carbon metabolic pathways. During embryonic development, one-carbon metabolism is involved in brain development and neural programming. Derangements in one-carbon metabolism increase (i) the short-term risk of embryonic neural tube-related defects and (ii) long-term childhood behaviour, cognition, and autism spectrum disorders. Here we investigate the association between maternal one-carbon metabolism and foetal and neonatal brain growth and development. Database searching resulted in 26 articles eligible for inclusion. Maternal vitamin B6, vitamin B12, homocysteine, and choline were not associated with foetal and/or neonatal head growth. First-trimester maternal plasma folate within the normal range (>17 nmol/L) associated with increased foetal head size and head growth, and high erythrocyte folate (1538–1813 nmol/L) with increased cerebellar growth, whereas folate deficiency (<7 nmol/L) associated with a reduced foetal brain volume. Preconceptional folic acid supplement use and specific dietary patterns (associated with increased B vitamins and low homocysteine) increased foetal head size. Although early pregnancy maternal folate appears to be the most independent predictor of foetal brain growth, there is insufficient data to confirm the link between maternal folate and offspring risks for neurodevelopmental diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: one-carbon metabolism; folate; pregnancy; periconception; foetal programming; fetus; embryo development; brain; head one-carbon metabolism; folate; pregnancy; periconception; foetal programming; fetus; embryo development; brain; head
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rubini, E.; Baijens, I.M.M.; Horánszky, A.; Schoenmakers, S.; Sinclair, K.D.; Zana, M.; Dinnyés, A.; Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M.; Rousian, M. Maternal One-Carbon Metabolism during the Periconceptional Period and Human Foetal Brain Growth: A Systematic Review. Genes 2021, 12, 1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101634

AMA Style

Rubini E, Baijens IMM, Horánszky A, Schoenmakers S, Sinclair KD, Zana M, Dinnyés A, Steegers-Theunissen RPM, Rousian M. Maternal One-Carbon Metabolism during the Periconceptional Period and Human Foetal Brain Growth: A Systematic Review. Genes. 2021; 12(10):1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101634

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rubini, Eleonora, Inge M.M. Baijens, Alex Horánszky, Sam Schoenmakers, Kevin D. Sinclair, Melinda Zana, András Dinnyés, Régine P.M. Steegers-Theunissen, and Melek Rousian. 2021. "Maternal One-Carbon Metabolism during the Periconceptional Period and Human Foetal Brain Growth: A Systematic Review" Genes 12, no. 10: 1634. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101634

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