Review article: Epigenetic control of fetal gene expression

Authors

  • TM Nafee,

    1. Academic Unit of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Keele University Medical School, University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • WE Farrell,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Postgraduate Medicine, Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University School of Medicine, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • WD Carroll,

    1. Department of Paediatrics, Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, Derby, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • AA Fryer,

    1. School of Postgraduate Medicine, Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University School of Medicine, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • KMK Ismail

    1. Academic Unit of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Keele University Medical School, University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

Prof WE Farrell, Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, Keele University School of Medicine, Hartshill Campus, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 7QB, UK. Email w.e.farrell@keele.ac.uk

Abstract

Each differentiated cell type has its own epigenetic signature, which reflects its genotype, developmental history, and environmental influences, and is ultimately reflected in the phenotype of the cell and organism. Some cells undergo major epigenetic ‘reprogramming’ during fetal development. The proper, or improper, handling of these highly sensitive periods may have significant short-term and long-term effects on the newborn and his/her progeny. This review highlights the impact of environmental and nutritional factors on the epigenome and the potential effect of epigenetic dysregulation on maternal and fetal pregnancy outcomes, as well as possible long-term implications.

Ancillary