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Genomic imprinting and its effects on postnatal growth and adult metabolism.

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Millership, Steven J 
Van de Pette, Mathew 


Imprinted genes display parent-of-origin-specific expression with this epigenetic system of regulation found exclusively in therian mammals. Historically, defined imprinted gene functions were almost solely focused on pregnancy and the influence on the growth parameters of the developing embryo and placenta. More recently, a number of postnatal functions have been identified which converge on resource allocation, both for animals in the nest and in adults. While many of the prenatal functions of imprinted genes that have so far been described adhere to the "parental conflict" hypothesis, no clear picture has yet emerged on the functional role of imprints on postnatal metabolism. As these roles are uncovered, interest in the potential for these genes to influence postnatal metabolism and associated adult-onset disease outcomes when dysregulated has gathered pace. Here, we review the published data on imprinted genes and their influence on postnatal metabolism, starting in the nest, and then progressing through to adulthood. When observing the functional effects of these genes on adult metabolism, we must always be careful to acknowledge the influence both of direct expression in the relevant metabolic tissue, but also indirect metabolic programming effects caused by their modulation of both in utero and postnatal growth trajectories.



Diet, Environment, Maternal care, Metabolic programming, Mouse models, Obesity, Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Adult, Animals, Behavior, Animal, Body Temperature Regulation, Embryo, Mammalian, Embryonic Development, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genomic Imprinting, Humans, Male, Maternal Inheritance, Obesity, Paternal Inheritance, Placenta, Pregnancy

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Cell Mol Life Sci

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC