Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) occurs naturally in pigs and leads to low birth weight of piglets due to undernutrition caused by placental insufficiency. For 2 main reasons, low birth weight causes economic loss. First, low birth weight pigs have a greater mortality and increasing the litter size causes more low birth weight piglets within litters. Second, surviving low birth weight piglets have reduced performance (i.e., ADG, feed conversion rate, and percentage meat). To develop dietary strategies for preventing IUGR, knowledge of the biological basis of IUGR is required.
Early brain development has a tremendous impact on the success of humans throughout their lives. During early development, neural circuit formation proceeds in a strictly regulated manner. In addition to genetic and epigenetic programs, recent studies using animal models have demonstrated that certain maternal bio-active agents are essential for normal neural development, with deficiencies adversely affecting offspring brain function and behavior.
For more than a century, clinical investigators have focused on early life as a source of adult psychopathology. Early theories about psychic conflict and toxic parenting have been replaced by more recent formulations of complex interactions of genes and environment. Although the hypothesized mechanisms have evolved, a central notion remains: early life is a period of unique sensitivity during which experience confers enduring effects. The mechanisms for these effects remain almost as much a mystery today as they were a century ago.
During gestation, development proceeds at a pace that is unmatched by any other stage of the life cycle. For these reasons the human fetus is particularly susceptible not only to organizing influences, but also to pathogenic disorganizing influences. Growing evidence suggests that exposure to prenatal adversity leads to neurological changes that underlie lifetime risks for mental illness. Beginning early in gestation, males and females show differential developmental trajectories and responses to stress.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder that is hypothesized to result from disturbances ine arly brain development. There is mounting evidence to support a role for developmentally regulated epigenetic variation in the molecular etiology of the disorder. Here, we describe a systematic study of schizophrenia-associated methylomic variation in the adult brain and its relationship to changes in DNA methylation across human fetal brain development.
Maternal one-carbon (1-C) metabolism provides methylgroups for fetal development and programing by DNA methylation as one of the underlying epigenetic mechanisms. We aimed to investigate maternal 1-C biomarkers, folic acid supplement use, and MTHFR C677T genotype as determinants of 1-C metabolism in early pregnancy in association with newborn DNA methylation levels of fetal growth and neurodevelopment candidate genes. The participants were 463 mother-child pairs of Dutch national origin from a large population-based birth cohort in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Research efforts during the past decades have provided intriguing evidence suggesting that stressful experiences during pregnancy exert long-term consequences on the future mental wellbeing of both the mother and her baby. Recent human epidemiological and animal studies indicate that stressful experiences in utero or during early life may increase the risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders, arguably via altered epigenetic regulation.
Mounting evidence indicates that schizophrenia is associated with adverse intrauterine experiences. An adverse or suboptimal fetal environment can cause irreversible changes in brain that can subsequently exert long-lasting effects through resetting a diverse array of biological systems including endocrine, immune and nervous. It is evident from animal and imaging studies that subtle variations in the intrauterine environment can cause recognizable differences in brain structure and cognitive functions in the offspring.
Epigenetic processes play a key role in orchestrating transcriptional regulation during development. The importance of DNA methylation in fetal brain development is highlighted by the dynamic expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases during the perinatal period and neurodevelopmental deficits associated with mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. However, our knowledge about the temporal changes to the epigenome during fetal brain development has, to date, been limited. We quantified genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation at ?
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that impaired foetal growth may provide an early indication of increased risk of child attention problems. However, despite both foetal growth and child attention problems differing by sex, few studies have examined sex differences in this association. Furthermore, no studies have been conducted in low- and middle-income countries, where there are higher rates of perinatal problems.