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Congenit Anom (Kyoto). 2011 Sep;51(3):110-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4520.2011.00315.x.

Seeking gene candidates responsible for developmental origins of health and disease.

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  • 1Anti-aging Medicine Funded Research Laboratories, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Human epidemiological evidence has led scientists to theorize that undernutrition during gestation is an important early origin of adult diseases. Animal models have successfully demonstrated that maternal diet could contribute to some adult diseases. Undernutrition is perceived harmful in pregnant women, whereas calorie restriction is a strategy proven to extend healthy and maximum lifespan in adult. This diagrammatically opposite effect of nutritional condition might provide us with hints to search for genes underlying health conditions. Here, we have initiated a study examining the effect of undernutrition on maternal and fetal livers, utilizing high-throughput DNA microarray analysis for screening genome-wide changes in their transcriptomes. Briefly, pregnant mice were exposed to food deprivation (FD) on gestation day (GD) 17, and cesarean section was performed on GD18. Control mice were supplied with chow ad libitum until sacrifice. Total RNA extracted from mother and fetal livers for each control and treatment (FD) was analyzed with an Agilent mouse whole genome DNA chip. A total of 3058 and 3126 up- (>1.5-fold) and down- (<0.75-fold) regulated genes, and 1475 and 1225 up- (>1.5-fold) and down- (<0.75-fold) regulated genes showed differential expression at the mRNA level, in the maternal and fetal livers, respectively. Interestingly, 103 genes up-regulated in the mother were down-regulated in the fetus, whereas 108 down-regulated maternal genes were up-regulated in the fetus; these 211 genes are potential candidates related to longevity or health. The role of some of these genes, in context of the proposed mechanisms for developmental origins of health and disease is discussed.

© 2011 The Authors. Congenital Anomalies © 2011 Japanese Teratology Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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