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The epigenetic basis of sexual dimorphism in nutritional programming of health and diseases

Abstract : Research question: The non-genetic heritability of susceptibility to chronic diseases is often different between males and females. The environment factors can leave epigenetic footprints on the DNA that dictate a coordinated expression of genes. A crucial period is the early development, when the epigenome is being reprogrammed and therefore particularly sensitive to the environment. Sexual dimorphism stems from the chromosomal sex (XX/XY) before gonad differentiation and from a later-on complex mix of hormones and X/Y-linked genes regulating autosomal genes. Early exposure interacts with these hormonal and genetic factors, leading to specific reactions, adaptations and outcomes for men and women. Methods: With several mouse models of maternal high-fat diet exposure, we demonstrate a striking sexual dimorphism of programming trajectories in different tissues, particularly placenta and liver, in response to the same environmental challenge. Results and Conclusion: Our findings provide proof-of-concept that epigenetic marks and modifiers may be part of the variables that causes sex-specific. This represents a novel approach to identify sex-specific mechanisms in the origins of health and disease. The discovery of such factors should help physicians and patients anticipate disease susceptibility and may help the development of prevention and treatment strategies precisely adapted to males and females.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 1:03:08 AM
Last modification on : Monday, September 27, 2021 - 12:21:06 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02741265, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 342142



Anne Gabory, Qihan Wu, Polina Panchenko, Sarah Voisin, Mélanie Jouin, et al.. The epigenetic basis of sexual dimorphism in nutritional programming of health and diseases. Epigenetics, Obesity and Metabolism 2015, Abcam. GBR., Oct 2015, Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-02741265⟩



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