Masters of manipulating their host

This 2020 French review subject was parasitical influences on host epigenetic processes: “Parasites have become masters of manipulating their host cells, exploiting signaling, and metabolic pathways to hijack host gene expression to their own advantage. These intracellular parasites have developed a wide range of strategies that affect transcriptional machineries and epigenetic events in the host … Continue reading Masters of manipulating their host

Clearing out the 2019 queue of interesting papers

I’m clearing out the below queue of 27 studies and reviews I’ve partially read this year but haven’t taken the time to curate. I have a pesky full-time job that demands my presence elsewhere during the day. :-\ Should I add any of these back in? Let’s be ready for the next decade! Early life … Continue reading Clearing out the 2019 queue of interesting papers

Epigenetic inheritance and microRNAs

This 2019 Canadian rodent study found: “Folic acid (FA) supplementation mitigates sperm miRNA profiles transgenerationally following in utero paternal exposure to POPs [persistent organic pollutants]. Across the F1 – F4 generations, sperm miRNA profiles were less perturbed with POPs + FA compared to sperm from descendants of dams treated with POPs alone..and only in F1 … Continue reading Epigenetic inheritance and microRNAs

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

Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

This 2019 UK/Canada/Germany human study investigated thirteen developmental disorders to identify genes that changed aspects of the epigenetic clock: “Sotos syndrome accelerates epigenetic aging [+7.64 years]. Sotos syndrome is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the NSD1 gene, which encodes a histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) methyltransferase. This leads to a phenotype which can include: Prenatal and … Continue reading Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

Caloric restriction’s epigenetic effects

This 2019 US review subject was caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition: “Cellular adaptation that occurs in response to dietary patterns can be explained by alterations in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA. Epigenetic reprogramming of the underlying chronic low-grade inflammation by CR can lead to immuno-metabolic adaptations that enhance quality of … Continue reading Caloric restriction’s epigenetic effects

Linking adult neurogenesis to Alzheimer’s disease

This 2019 Spanish human study compared DNA methylation, chromatin and histone modifications in the hippocampus of deceased Alzheimer’s disease patients with controls: “A significant percentage of the differentially methylated genes were related to neural development and neurogenesis. It was astounding that other biological, cellular, and molecular processes generally associated with neurodegeneration such as apoptosis, autophagy, … Continue reading Linking adult neurogenesis to Alzheimer’s disease

OCD and neural plasticity

This 2019 New York rodent study investigated multiple avenues to uncover mechanisms of obsessive-compulsive disorder: “Psychophysical models of OCD propose that anxiety (amygdala) and habits (dorsolateral striatum) may be causally linked. Numerous genetic and environmental factors may reduce striatum sensitivity and lead to maladaptive overcompensation, potentially accounting for a significant proportion of cases of pathological … Continue reading OCD and neural plasticity

Non-emotional memories

This 2019 US review covered memory mechanisms: “With memory encoding reliant on persistent changes in the properties of synapses, a key question is how can memories be maintained from days to months or a lifetime given molecular turnover? It is likely that positive feedback loops are necessary to persistently maintain the strength of synapses that … Continue reading Non-emotional memories

Adverse epigenetic effects of prenatal and perinatal anesthesia

This 2018 Chinese animal review subject was prenatal and perinatal anesthesia’s adverse epigenetic effects on a fetus/neonate: “Accumulating evidence from rodent and primate studies has demonstrated that in utero or neonatal exposure to commonly used inhaled and intravenous general anesthetics is associated with neural degeneration and subsequent neurocognitive impairments, manifested in learning and memory disabilities. … Continue reading Adverse epigenetic effects of prenatal and perinatal anesthesia

Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease

This 2018 Washington rodent study investigated ovarian disease in F3 great-granddaughters caused by their F0 great-grandmothers’ exposures to DDT or vinclozolin while pregnant: “Two of the most prevalent ovarian diseases affecting women’s fertility and health are Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). POI is characterized by a marked reduction in the primordial … Continue reading Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease

Reversing epigenetic changes with CRISPR/Cas9

This 2018 Chinese review highlighted areas in which CRISPR/Cas9 technology has, is, and could be applied to rewrite epigenetic changes: “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated epigenome editing holds a great promise for epigenetic studies and therapeutics. It could be used to selectively modify epigenetic marks at a given locus to explore mechanisms of how targeted epigenetic alterations would affect … Continue reading Reversing epigenetic changes with CRISPR/Cas9

Epigenetic factors affecting female rat sexual behavior

This 2018 Baltimore/Montreal rodent study found: “If sexually naïve females have their formative sexually rewarding experiences paired with the same male, they will recognize that male and display mate-guarding behavior towards him in the presence of a female competitor. Female rats that display mate-guarding behavior also show enhanced activation of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons in … Continue reading Epigenetic factors affecting female rat sexual behavior

Organ epigenetic memory

This 2018 Japanese review subject was the relationships of organ memory and non-communicable diseases: “Organ memory is the engraved phenotype of altered organ responsiveness acquired by a time-dependent accumulation of organ stress responses. This phenomenon is known as “metabolic memory” or “legacy effect,” which is similar to neuronal and immune memory. Not only is the … Continue reading Organ epigenetic memory

Flawed epigenetic measurements of behavioral experiences

This 2018 New York rodent study not only wasted resources but also speciously attempted to extrapolate animal study findings to humans: “While it is clear that behavioral experience modulates epigenetic profiles, it is less evident how the nature of that experience influences outcomes and whether epigenetic/genetic “biomarkers” could be extracted to classify different types of … Continue reading Flawed epigenetic measurements of behavioral experiences