Fetal epigenetic programming of adipokines

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Abstract

Epigenetics generates a considerable interest in the field of research on complex traits, including obesity and diabetes. Recently, we reported a number of epipolymorphisms in the placental leptin and adiponectin genes associated with maternal hyperglycemia during pregnancy. Our results suggest that DNA methylation could partly explain the link between early exposure to a detrimental fetal environment and an increased risk to develop obesity and diabetes later in life. This brief report discusses the potential importance of adipokine epigenetic changes in fetal metabolic programming. Additionally, preliminary data showing similarities between methylation variations of different tissues and cell types will be presented along with the challenges and future perspectives of this emerging field of research.

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