Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

This 2019 French/Italian rodent study used the PRS model to investigate its effects on circadian activity: “The aim of this study was to explore the influence of PRS on the circadian oscillations of gene expression in the SCN [suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus] and on circadian locomotor behavior, in a sex-dependent manner. Research on transcriptional … Continue reading Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

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

Infant DNA methylation and caregiving

This 2019 US human study attempted to replicate findings of animal studies that associated caregiver behavior with infant DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene: “Greater levels of maternal responsiveness and appropriate touch were related to less DNA methylation of specific regions in NR3c1 exon 1F, but only for females. There was no association with … Continue reading Infant DNA methylation and caregiving

Another important transgenerational epigenetic inheritance study

This 2019 Washington State University rodent study from Dr. Michael Skinner’s lab found: “A cascade of epigenetic alterations initiated in the PGCs [primordial germ cells of F3 males] appears to be required to alter the epigenetic programming during spermatogenesis to modify the sperm epigenome involved in the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance phenomenon. Following fertilization there is … Continue reading Another important transgenerational epigenetic inheritance study

A therapy to reverse cognitive decline

This 2018 human study presented the results of 100 patients’ personalized therapies for cognitive decline: “The first examples of reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and the pre-Alzheimer’s disease conditions MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) and SCI (Subjective Cognitive Impairment) have recently been published..showing sustained subjective and objective improvement in cognition, using a comprehensive, precision … Continue reading A therapy to reverse cognitive decline

Epigenetic causes of sexual orientation and handedness?

This 2018 Austrian human study subject was various associations of prenatal testosterone levels to fetal development: “The available evidence suggests, albeit not conclusively, that prenatal testosterone levels may be one cause for the association of sexual orientation with handedness. Associations among women were consistent with predictions of the Geschwind–Galaburda theory (GGT), whereas those among men … Continue reading Epigenetic causes of sexual orientation and handedness?

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

Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

This 2017 UC Irvine human review subject provided details of how fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal components and systems develop, and how they are epigenetically changed by the mother’s environment: “The developmental origins of disease or fetal programming model predicts that intrauterine exposures have life-long consequences for physical and psychological health. Prenatal programming of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) … Continue reading Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

This 2018 UC San Diego review subject was the interplay between breast cancer treatments and their effects on aging: “Although current breast cancer treatments are largely successful in producing cancer remission and extending lifespan, there is concern that these treatments may have long lasting detrimental effects on cancer survivors, in part, through their impact on … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

Epigenetic variations in metabolism

This 2018 German review was comprehensive for its subject, epigenetic control of variation and stochasticity in metabolic disease. I’ll focus on one aspect, phenotypic variation: “Phenotypic [Mendelian] variation can result both from gain- and loss-of-function mutations. Because of the extreme interconnectivity of cell regulatory networks, even at the cellular level, predicting the impact of a … Continue reading Epigenetic variations in metabolism