183059 Transgenerational epigenetic responses to early life experiences

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:18 AM

Lars Olov Bygren, MD, PhD , Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden
Gunnar Kaati, PhD , Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden
Nutrition might induce, at some loci, epigenetic or other changes that could be transmitted to the next generation impacting on health. The slow growth period (SGP) prior to the prepubertal peak in growth velocity has emerged as a sensitive period where different food availability is followed by different transgenerational response (TGR). The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent the probands own childhood circumstances are in fact the determinants of the findings.

Data from three random samples, comprising 271 probands and their 1623 parents and grandparents, left after exclusions because of missing data, were utilized. The availability of food during was classified based on regional statistics. The ancestors' SGP was set at the ages of 8-12 years and the availability of food during these years classified as good, intermediate or poor. The probandsx childhood circumstances were defined by the father's ownership of land, the number of siblings and order in the sibship, the death of parents and the parents' level of literacy. An earlier finding of a sex-specific influence from the ancestors' nutrition during the SGP, going from the paternal grandmother to the female proband and from the paternal grandfather to the male proband, was confirmed. In addition a response from father to son emerged when childhood social circumstances of the son were accounted for. Early social circumstances influenced longevity for the male proband. TGRs to ancestors' nutrition prevailed as the main influence on longevity.

Key words

Early life, Social environment, Sex-specific transgenerational responses, Mortality

Learning Objectives:
Expand the genomic approach to heredity

Keywords: Genetics, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the authors
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.