Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

This 2019 McGill rodent study found: “Prenatal stress exacerbates pain after injury. Analysis of mRNA expression of genes related to epigenetic regulation and stress responses in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, brain structures implicated in chronic pain, showed distinct sex and region-specific patterns of dysregulation. In general, mRNA expression was most frequently altered in the … Continue reading Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

An epigenetic clock review by committee

This 2019 worldwide review of epigenetic clocks was a semi-anonymous mishmash of opinions, facts, hypotheses, unwarranted extrapolations, and beliefs. The diversity of viewpoints among the 21 coauthors wasn’t evident. 1. Citations of the coauthors’ works seemed excessive, and they apologized for omissions. However, Challenge 5 was titled “Single-cell analysis of aging changes and disease” and … Continue reading An epigenetic clock review by committee

A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

This 2019 Washington State University rodent study found epigenetically inherited transgenerational effects in great-grand offspring due to their great-grandmothers’ toxicant exposures during pregnancy: “Previous studies found an increased susceptibility to obesity in F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed to the pesticide DDT, and an increase in a lean phenotype in the F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed … Continue reading A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

A GWAS meta-analysis of two epigenetic clocks

This 2019 UK human study conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of two epigenetic clocks using 13,493 European-ancestry individuals aged between ten and 98 years: “Horvath-EAA, described in previous publications as ‘intrinsic’ epigenetic age acceleration (IEAA), can be interpreted as a measure of cell-intrinsic ageing that exhibits preservation across multiple tissues, appears unrelated to … Continue reading A GWAS meta-analysis of two epigenetic clocks

Organismal aging and cellular senescence

I’ll curate this 2019 German review through its figures: “With the discovery of beneficial aspects of cellular senescence and evidence of senescence being not limited to replicative cellular states, a redefinition of our comprehension of aging and senescence appears scientifically overdue. Figure 1. Current determinants and relevant open questions, marking the processes of aging and … Continue reading Organismal aging and cellular senescence

A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

This 2019 review of epigenetic clocks by Washington cancer researchers repeatedly returned to an argument for randomness as a cause for aging and disease: “A time-dependent stochastic event process, like epigenetic drift, could lead to cancer formation through the accumulation of random epigenetic alterations that, through chance, eventually alter epigenetic driver gene expression leading to … Continue reading A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance extends to the great-great-grand offspring

This 2019 rodent study by the Washington State University labs of Dr. Michael Skinner continued to F4 generation great-great-grand offspring, and demonstrated that epigenetic inheritance mechanisms are similar to imprinted genes: “Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance potentially impacts disease etiology, phenotypic variation, and evolution. An increasing number of environmental factors from nutrition to toxicants have been shown … Continue reading Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance extends to the great-great-grand offspring

Emotional responses and BDNF methylation

This 2019 German human study found: “A critical role of BDNF [brain-derived neurotrophic factor] methylation in human amygdala response to negative emotional stimuli, whereby: High BDNF methylation rates were for the first time shown to be associated with a high reactivity in the amygdala; and High BDNF methylation and high amygdala reactivity were associated with … Continue reading Emotional responses and BDNF methylation

Reversing epigenetic T cell exhaustion

This 2019 worldwide discussion among 18 experts concerned T cell exhaustion: “‘T cell exhaustion’ is a broad term that has been used to describe the response of T cells to chronic antigen stimulation, first in the setting of chronic viral infection but more recently in response to tumours. Key questions remain about the potential to … Continue reading Reversing epigenetic T cell exhaustion

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of thyroid hormone sensitivity

My 500th curation is a 2019 Portuguese human study of Azorean islanders: “This study demonstrates a transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans produced by exposure to high TH [thyroid hormone] in fetal life, in the absence of maternal influences secondary to thyrotoxicosis. The inheritance is along the male line. The present work took advantage of the … Continue reading Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of thyroid hormone sensitivity