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Environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease susceptibility

Published:March 03, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2014.02.003
      Environmental insults, such as exposure to toxicants or nutritional abnormalities, can lead to epigenetic changes that are in turn related to increased susceptibility to disease. The focus of this review is on the transgenerational inheritance of such epigenetic abnormalities (epimutations), and how it is that these inherited epigenetic abnormalities can lead to increased disease susceptibility, even in the absence of continued environmental insult. Observations of environmental toxicant specificity and exposure-specific disease susceptibility are discussed. How epimutations are transmitted across generations and how epigenetic changes in the germline are translated into an increased disease susceptibility in the adult is reviewed with regard to disease etiology.

      Abbreviation:

      DMR (DNA methylation region)
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