Breaking News
November 18, 2018 - Consensus Statement Issued on Management of Foot, Ankle Gout
November 18, 2018 - Fine particle air pollution is a public health emergency hiding in plain sight
November 18, 2018 - In-hospital mortality higher among patients with drug-resistant infections
November 17, 2018 - Research shines new, explanatory light on link between obesity and cancer
November 17, 2018 - FIND explores new diagnostic assays for confirmatory HCV diagnosis in community settings
November 17, 2018 - Tracking Preemies’ Head Size May Yield IQ Clues
November 17, 2018 - Scientists call for unified standards in 3-D genome and epigenetic data
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 has beaten all records by attracting 3,113 attendees
November 17, 2018 - Sexuality education before age 18 may reduce risk of sexual assault in college
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 confirmed as a major hit with visitors, exhibitors and speakers
November 17, 2018 - Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities
November 17, 2018 - Static and dynamic physical activities offer varying protection against heart disease
November 17, 2018 - Obesity significantly increases risk of Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease
November 17, 2018 - People with rare cancers can benefit from genomic profiling, shows research
November 17, 2018 - NIH awards over $1.8 million to husband-and-wife doctors to test new breast cancer approach
November 17, 2018 - Four-in-one antibody used to fight flu shows promise in mice
November 17, 2018 - New approach allows pathogens to be starved by blocking important enzymes
November 17, 2018 - Higher body mass index could cause depression even without health problems
November 17, 2018 - Protein which plays role in sensing cell damage serves as new target to treat pulmonary hypertension
November 17, 2018 - FDA Approves Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in Combination with Chemotherapy for Adults with Previously Untreated Systemic Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or Other CD30-Expressing Peripheral T-Cell Lymphomas
November 17, 2018 - ID specialist input improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 17, 2018 - UT Southwestern scientists selected to receive 2019 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards
November 17, 2018 - New clinical algorithm to help individuals manage type 2 diabetes when fasting during Ramadan
November 17, 2018 - Researchers identify LZTR1 as evolutionarily conserved component of RAS pathway
November 17, 2018 - Heart Disease Leading Cause of Death in Low-Income Counties
November 17, 2018 - Estrogen Levels Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 17, 2018 - Research reveals link between immunity, diabetes
November 17, 2018 - Research shows how to achieve improved smoking cessation outcomes within California’s Medicaid population
November 17, 2018 - New study finds less understanding and implementation of patient engagement
November 17, 2018 - New shoe insole technology could help diabetic ulcers heal better while walking
November 17, 2018 - New method to extend cell division and immortalization of avian-derived cells
November 17, 2018 - Australian Academy of Science urges parents to vaccinate children against meningococcal disease
November 17, 2018 - Hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and metabolism in sedentary people
November 17, 2018 - Researchers produce 3D chemical maps of small biological samples
November 17, 2018 - Must Blood Pressure Rise Wth Age? Remote Tribes Hold Clues
November 17, 2018 - Noonan Syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Interventions to delay and prevent type 2 diabetes are underused, researchers say
November 17, 2018 - Hackathon prize winner seeks to remotely monitor patient skin conditions
November 17, 2018 - Research team identifies Ashkenazi Jewish founder mutation for Leigh syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Gene editing could be used to halt kidney disease in patients with Joubert syndrome
November 17, 2018 - Study uncovers link between gut disruption and aging
November 17, 2018 - Teens more likely to pick up smoking after exposure from friends and family
November 17, 2018 - Nicoya designate the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine as the OpenSPR Centre of Excellence
November 17, 2018 - new horizon in dental, oral and craniofacial research
November 17, 2018 - How does poor air quality affect your health?
November 17, 2018 - New device can regulate children’s blood glucose more like natural pancreas
November 17, 2018 - Game-Changers in Western Blotting and Protein Analysis
November 17, 2018 - FDA announces new actions to limit sale of e-cigarettes to youth
November 17, 2018 - Warmer winter temperatures related to higher crime rates
November 17, 2018 - MCO places increasing emphasis on helping people find and access healthy food
November 17, 2018 - Group of students aim to improve malaria diagnosis using old smartphones
November 17, 2018 - Transplantation of feces may protect preterm children from deadly bowel disease
November 17, 2018 - Researchers explore whether low-gluten diets can be recommended for people without allergies
November 17, 2018 - New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
November 17, 2018 - For 7-year-old with failing bone marrow, a life-saving transplant | News Center
November 17, 2018 - New first-line treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma approved by FDA
November 17, 2018 - Artificial intelligence could be valuable tool to help young victims disclose traumatic testimony
November 17, 2018 - Breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
November 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Who Have Been Previously Treated with Sorafenib
November 16, 2018 - Eagle Books | Native Diabetes Wellness Program
November 16, 2018 - Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
November 16, 2018 - How AI could help veterinarians code their notes | News Center
November 16, 2018 - Bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find first direct evidence that cerebellum plays role in cognitive functions
November 16, 2018 - Non-coding genetic variant plays key role in endothelial function and disease incidence
November 16, 2018 - EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness
November 16, 2018 - Drug used to treat dizziness may slow down growth of triple-negative breast cancer
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Icosapent Ethyl Cuts CV Risk From Elevated Triglycerides
November 16, 2018 - ‘Orphan’ RNAs make cancer deadlier, but potentially easier to diagnose
November 16, 2018 - Air Cube touches down at hospital | News Center
November 16, 2018 - CRISPR-based tool shown to enhance cell-based immunotherapy
November 16, 2018 - Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood, finds study
November 16, 2018 - Researchers unravel mystery of NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia
November 16, 2018 - High school students less likely to select milk, fruit for lunch when fruit juice is available
November 16, 2018 - Football coaches with great emotional competence are more successful
November 16, 2018 - Researchers awarded $10 million grant to address root causes of asthma in Puerto Rico
November 16, 2018 - Personalized scheduling of radiotherapy using genetic data could reduce side effects
November 16, 2018 - American Cancer Society study links social isolation to higher mortality risk
November 16, 2018 - Health Tip: Manage Morning Sickness
November 16, 2018 - Long term exposure to road traffic noise linked with greater obesity risk
Maternal diet may program child for disease risk, but better nutrition later can change that

Maternal diet may program child for disease risk, but better nutrition later can change that

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research has shown that a mother’s diet during pregnancy, particularly one that is high-fat, may program her baby for future risk of certain diseases such as diabetes. A new study from nutrition researchers at the University of Illinois shows that switching the offspring to a new diet—a low-fat diet, in this case—can reverse that programming.

Yuan-Xiang Pan, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at U of I, along with Laura Moody, a doctoral student in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at U of I study how early-life nutrition affects later generations and offspring health. In a new study published in the journal, Epigenomics, the researchers focused on whether a post-weaning diet, or a diet later in life, could control the epigenome and affect metabolism in the body.

Epigenetics does not involve changes to the DNA sequence, but are changes that modify gene expression. A person’s epigenome is inherited, but it is also reversible based on what you eat, whether you exercise, and even where you live, for example.

“Traditional genetics says that you inherit a sequence from your parents. Epigenetics says you can inherit these other changes to the DNA, as well,” Moody explains. “This is where the whole maternal programming of metabolism—the epigenome—comes into play. We wanted to show these changes are easily altered, even after this critical period. You can still change that epigenome later in life.

“The message is not that the high-fat diet is itself bad, but rather you always have the opportunity to change it later. It’s not like you are doomed by what your mom or dad did in early in life,” she adds.

For the study, the researchers looked at rats that were exposed to a high-fat diet (45 percent fat) during gestation and lactation. At weaning, some of the rats stayed on a high-fat diet and some were put on a low-fat diet (16 percent fat).

The researchers then did whole-genome sequencing of the rats, focusing on differences between gene expression in the livers of the two sets of rats. In particular, they wanted to see if DNA methylation in the liver adapted to the new, low-fat diet. DNA methylation is a mechanism cells use to control gene expression at the epigenetic level. It involves the addition of a methyl group to DNA that changes the way genes are transcribed and affects gene expression.

Scans showed remodeled DNA methylation patterns in the low-fat group, which changed gene expression associated with fat metabolism and inflammation in the liver; there was less fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver. This shows that DNA methylation is responsive to dietary changes later in life.

While there were physiological changes in the rats on low-fat diets, including lower body weight, Moody says they were most encouraged to see the changes in specific metabolic pathways related to type 2 diabetes, suggesting changes in rats’ risk for the disease.

“There were definitely physiological outcomes, but we focused on the epigenetic outcomes,” Moody says. “We did a whole genome scan, so we weren’t just looking in one particular area. So I think it’s even more impressive that it was these specific pathways—the type 2 diabetes mellitus pathways—that were metabolically related that were the most changed.”

Because research—some from Pan’s own lab—has shown that the early-life environment, including nutrition, can program certain diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and even some cancers, the study may offer good news for health throughout the lifespan.

“The early-life environment will mark your epigenome in a certain way so that you may develop certain phenotypes or disease states. Our study shows that after that early programming state, after weaning, and after the lactation period, when we introduced a new type of diet it changed the epigenome in a way that actually affects metabolism and potentially will reduce some of the damage caused by an early-life high-fat exposure,” Pan says.

Pan adds that their study shows that the “reprogramming” is possible at least from the point of post-weaning. “Whether we can start from adolescence, or even later in life, we don’t know that yet. But hopefully our study shows that by simply changing nutrition you can reverse some of the potential consequences.”

Pan’s goal is also to continue identifying potential molecular mechanisms involved in this early programming. “If we identify mechanisms, then we can do more detection of disease risk. Even if we don’t know what happened during a person’s early-life environment, but we do know that they have the potential to develop these kinds of diseases, we can tell them to pay attention to their diet, environment, stress, etc. to minimize the risk of eventually developing these diseases.

“Goal two is to find intervention strategies, including this case, where we show that if you switch to a different diet you actually can specifically remodel the epigenome in the liver related to certain metabolic pathways,” he says.

Moody says she will continue to take a more whole-body systemic approach to understand how dietary patterns can affect the epigenome in different tissues in the body and how that can reduce disease risk.

The paper, “Postnatal diet remodels hepatic DNA methylation in metabolic pathways established by a maternal high-fat diet,” is published in Epigenomics.


Explore further:
Exercise in early life has long-lasting benefits

More information:
Laura Moody et al, Postnatal diet remodels hepatic DNA methylation in metabolic pathways established by a maternal high-fat diet, Epigenomics (2017). DOI: 10.2217/epi-2017-0066

Journal reference:
Epigenomics

Provided by:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles