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The Epigenome and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128013830, 9780128016725

The Epigenome and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

1st Edition

Editor: Cheryl Rosenfeld
Paperback ISBN: 9780128013830
eBook ISBN: 9780128016725
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 10th October 2015
Page Count: 560
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Winner of 2016 BMA Medical Award for Basic and Clinical Sciences

The Epigenome and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease synthesizes the existing knowledge on how the in utero environment could be the most important environment in shaping later risk for various diseases or to conversely promote the health of the offspring.

The book mines the existing literature from a variety of disciplines from toxicology to nutrition to epigenetics to reveal how contrasting maternal in utero environmental changes might be leading to epigenetic convergence and the resulting deleterious phenotypic and physiological effects in our offspring.

It is increasingly becoming apparent that even subtle changes in the mother’s diet, stress, and exposure to low concentrations of toxic chemicals at levels deemed safe by the EPA and FDA, such as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC), can dramatically impact the health of our children, possibly leading to metabolic, cardiovascular, immunological, neurobehavioral disorders, and increased risk for cancer to list but a few examples.

Key Features

  • Informs how everyday choices pregnant women make can impact child development
  • Ties together how in utero environmental changes may be inducing epigenetic changes in the offspring leading to overlapping phenotypes regardless of the initial insult (toxic, nutrition, or stress)
  • Includes a boxed-in area in each chapter for further references and resources to keep up with the field
  • Features video interviews with the authors and other key leaders in the field


epigeneticists, geneticists, reproductive biologists, medical and veterinary students, toxicologists, obstetricians/ gynecologists, neurobiologists, nutritionists, physiologists, and psychologists

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • List of Contributors
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) Concept: Past, Present, and Future
    • Introduction
    • The Origins of the Field
    • Conceptual Developments and Experimental Observations
    • DOHaD and Epigenetics
    • The Wider DOHaD Research Agenda
    • DOHaD and Public Policy
  • Chapter 2. Historical Perspective of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease in Humans
    • Introduction
    • Socioeconomic Stressors and Infant and Child Health
    • Allostasis and Allostatic Load
    • Weathering and African American Health Disparities
    • Acculturation and the Hispanic Paradox
    • A Life Course Approach and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Epigenetic Regulation and Effects of Psychosocial Stress
    • Health Vulnerabilities Can be Heritable
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 3. DOHaD and the Periconceptional Period, a Critical Window in Time
    • Introduction: DOHaD and the Periconceptional Perspective
    • The Periconceptional Period: A Summary of Key Events
    • In Vivo Maternal Nutritional Models of Periconceptional Programming
    • In Vitro Models of Periconceptional Programming Related to Assisted Reproductive Treatments
    • The Paternal Influence on Periconceptional Developmental Programming
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4. Introduction to Epigenetic Mechanisms: The Probable Common Thread for Various Developmental Origins of Health and Diseases Effects
    • Introduction
    • DNA Methylation
    • Posttranslational Histone Modifications
    • Noncoding RNA
    • Nucleosome Remodeling
    • Embryonic Epigenetic Reprogramming
    • Primordial Germ Cell Reprogramming
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Perinatal Neurohormonal Programming and Endocrine Disruption
    • Introduction
    • Effects of Sex Steroid Hormones on Brain Sexual Differentiation
    • Sex Steroid-induced Epigenetic Regulation of Brain Sexual Differentiation
    • Glucocorticoid and Maternal Stress Effects on Brain Development and Sexual Differentiation
    • Endocrine Disruption of Normal Brain Programming
    • Conclusions
    • Glossary
  • Chapter 6. Parental Nutrition and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • Overnutrition
    • Undernutrition
    • Epigenetics and Prenatal Programming by Malnutrition
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 7. Maternal Prenatal Stress and the Developmental Origins of Mental Health: The Role of Epigenetics
    • Introduction
    • Epigenetics
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 8. Epigenetics in the Developmental Origin of Cardiovascular Disorders
    • Introduction
    • Periods of Susceptibility to Developmental Programming
    • Programming Stimuli
    • Mechanisms of DOHaD in CVD
    • Concluding Remarks
  • Chapter 9. Developmental Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the Ovary and on Female Fertility
    • Introduction
    • Ovarian Development and Function
    • Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals on Female Reproduction and Ovary
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 10. Developmental and Epigenetic Origins of Male Reproductive Pathologies
    • Introduction
    • Environmental Factors Known to Correlate with Male Reproductive Dysfunction
    • Developmental Environment and Establishment of Epigenetic Patterns
    • Developmental Exposures and the Incidence of Male Reproductive Abnormalities
    • Environmentally Induced Transgenerational Epigenetic Effects Related to Male Reproduction
    • Germ Line to Somatic Epigenetic Effects: Lesson from the Vinclozolin Transgenerational Model
    • Epigenetic Marks in Fertility: DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications
    • Epigenetic Marks and Fertility: Small Noncoding RNAs
    • Conclusions and Perspectives
  • Chapter 11. Developmental Origins of Childhood Asthma and Allergic Conditions—Is There Evidence of Epigenetic Regulation?
    • Introduction
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 12. Immune Disorders, Epigenetics, and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • Environmental Risk Factors Affecting Immune Function and Individual Vulnerability
    • The Immune System, Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease, and Public Health Implications
    • Immune Programming by the Microbiota
    • Interlinkage of Immune Disorders
    • Immune Disorders and Communicable Diseases
    • Immune Disorders and Noncommunicable Diseases
    • Autoimmune Disorders
    • Inflammatory Disorders
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 13. Neurobehavioral Disorders and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • The Risk Associated with Early-Life Insults
    • Changes in the Stress System during Pregnancy
    • Organogenesis
    • Timing of Intrauterine Exposures
    • Emotional Regulation
    • Cognitive Regulation
    • Epidemiological Evidence for Programming Neurobehavioral Outcomes
    • Programming the Vulnerable Human Fetal Brain
    • Birth Phenotype and Neuronal Consequences
    • Neuronal Consequences of Intrauterine Exposures
    • Sex Differences and the DOHaD Model
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 14. Metabolic Disorders and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • Intrauterine Growth Restriction
    • Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy and Metabolic Programming of the Offspring
    • Obesity in Pregnancy and Metabolic Programming of the Offspring
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter 15. The Developmental Origins of Renal Dysfunction
    • Introduction
    • Impact of the Prenatal Environment on Renal Dysfunction and Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Kidney Development and Nephron Endowment
    • The Importance of Nephron Endowment: Links to Blood Pressure and Renal Disease
    • Exploring the Mechanisms of Renal Programming of Low Nephron Endowment: Evidence from Animal Models
    • Why is the Kidney Susceptible to Programming?
    • Mechanisms Leading to Impaired Renal Structure and Function
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 16. Cancer and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease—Epigenetic Reprogramming as a Mediator
    • Introduction
    • Epigenetic Regulation in Cancer
    • Developmental Origin of Adult Disease
    • Developmental Origin of Adult Disease and Breast Cancer
    • Developmental Origin of Adult Disease and Prostate Cancer
    • Other Cancers
    • Epigenetically Active Agents Involved in Carcinogenesis
    • Exogenous Factors
    • Endogenous Factors
    • Conclusions
    • Glossary Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
  • Chapter 17. Epigenetic Regulation of Gastrointestinal Epithelial Barrier and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • Epigenetics and GI Tract Development and Maturation
    • The Gut Microbiota and Programming
    • Developmental Origins of GI Diseases
    • Food and Epigenetics of the GI Epithelium
    • Conclusions and Future Directions
    • Abbreviations
  • Chapter 18. How the Father Might Epigenetically Program the Risk for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Effects in His Offspring
    • Introduction
    • Sperm Epigenetics
    • Zygotic Epigenetic Reprogramming
    • Paternal Aging
    • Paternally Driven Environmental Effects
    • Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 19. Linkage between In Utero Environmental Changes and Preterm Birth
    • Introduction
    • Environmental Exposures
    • Chemicals
    • Particles/Air Pollution
    • Maternal Health
    • Conclusions
    • Glossary Terms
  • Chapter 20. Sexual Dimorphism and DOHaD through the Lens of Epigenetics: Genetic, Ancestral, Developmental, and Environmental Origins from Previous to the Next Generation(s)
    • Introduction
    • Complex Trajectories due to Sex Specificity to Both the Transmission and Inheritance of Susceptibility
    • Mechanisms of Unequal Expression of X- and Y-Chromosome-Linked Genes
    • Epigenetics and Gene Expression: Sex- Specific Marks, Mechanisms, and Dynamics
    • The Specific Epigenetic Features of Extraembryonic Tissues and Placenta
    • Differences between Male/Female Gametogenesis
    • Differences in Reprogramming of Maternal/Paternal Genome
    • What Levels of Evidence: The Limiting and Confounders Factors
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 21. Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Past Exposures, Future Diseases
    • Introduction
    • A Crucial Role for the Germline in Epigenetic and Genetic Inheritance
    • Evidence for Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance in Animal Models
    • Evidence for Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance in Humans
    • Environmental Exposures Affecting the Male Germline: Adult versus Developmental Exposures
    • Conclusions and Perspectives
  • Chapter 22. The Placenta and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
    • Introduction
    • Epidemiology and the Placenta
    • Placental Function
    • Environmental Influences on Placental Function
    • Epigenetics and the Placenta
    • The “Placental Phenotype,” Interventions, and Treatments
    • Concluding Remarks and Future Directions
  • Chapter 23. The Moral and Legal Relevance of DOHaD Effects for Pregnant Mothers
    • Introduction: Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Research and Legislative Interventions
    • The Legal Recognition of Fetal Rights
    • The Criminalization of the “Bad Mother”
    • Caring for Fetuses versus Caring for Future Persons
    • Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, and Future People
    • DOHaD Effects Are Not Deterministic
    • DOHaD and the Nonidentity Problem
    • Do Women Have a Duty to Abort in Order to Avoid Causing Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Harm to Future Persons?
    • Is the Criminalization of Mothers Justifiable?
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 24. Introduction to Moms in Motion (MIM)
    • Abbreviations
  • Chapter 25. Reversing Harmful Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Effects
    • Introduction
    • Method
    • Discussion
    • Abbreviations
  • Chapter 26. Informational Resources for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Research
    • Introduction
    • DOHaD-Related Scientific Organizations
    • DOHaD-Related Scientific Meetings
    • DOHaD-Related Journals, Databases, and Other Informative Resources
    • Social Media Resources Reporting Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Findings
    • Judging the Reliability of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Informational Resources
    • Conclusions
    • Glossary
  • Index


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© Academic Press 2015
10th October 2015
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Cheryl Rosenfeld

Cheryl S. Rosenfeld, DVM, PhD, has published extensively on how maternal diet and developmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds affect offspring outcomes. She has written several review articles and book chapters, including the most recent one on animal models of transgenerational epigenetic effects in Transgenerational Epigenetics: Evidence and Debate, published by Elsevier. She also edited and coauthored the book The Epigenome and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, which won the BMA Medical Award for Basic and Clinical Sciences in 2016.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, United States

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