Early epigenetic switches compared with childhood bone health

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The health of children’s skeleton could be dynamic before they are born, a new University of Southampton investigate has shown.

Researchers from a MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and a Institute of Developmental Sciences during a University of Southampton, as partial of a Epigen Global Consortium, looked during either bone health competence be shabby by epigenetic modifications of DNA early in life.

The results, published in a Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, yield an discernment into a early determinants of fundamental growth, and urge a bargain of how osteoporosis could be prevented in destiny generations.

Bone mass totalled regulating DXA bone densitometry. Credit: University of Southampton

There is flourishing justification that either genes are voiced or not (switched on or off) in sold tellurian cells can change via life and can be influenced by a operation of environmental factors even before birth, such as their parents’ health, diet and lifestyle before and during pregnancy. This switching on or off of genes is famous as “epigenetic modification” and an critical epigenetic resource is DNA methylation.

The Southampton researchers analysed a levels of DNA methylation in umbilical cord hankie of 669 babies innate in a Southampton Women’s Survey.

They compared a DNA methylation levels in a CDKN2A gene to a bone mass of a child during 4 and 6 years of age, totalled regulating DXA bone densitometry. They found that aloft DNA methylation in sold tools of a CDKN2A gene, that is famous to play a purpose in growth and ageing, was compared with reduce bone mass during 4 and 6 years.

Analysis showed that a 10 percent boost in methylation was compared with a diminution in sum bone mass of around 4-9g during age 4 years. Further laboratory research showed that methylation of a CDKN2A segment is critical for a duty and presence of bone cells.

Nicholas Harvey, Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology during a University of Southampton, led a investigate with Dr Elizabeth Curtis, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow, and Dr Robert Murray, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, both also from a University.

He said: “The health of a child’s bone when they are immature can change a risk of osteoporosis in comparison age. This investigate provides sparkling insights into a purpose of epigenetics in bone health, and competence concede us to some-more accurately envision an individual’s destiny risk of osteoporosis. Our ongoing studies should capacitate us to work out either interventions during pregnancy, for instance vitamin D supplementation, will indeed change a epigenetic marks, and lead to softened bone health in a offspring.”

Professor Cyrus Cooper, Director of a MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, said: “This vital anticipating links a prior observations on maternal nourishment and lifestyle during pregnancy, with a after risk of musculoskeletal ageing in a offspring. It bears testimony to a value of large, well-maintained race cohorts, participants among whom are followed adult for many years.”

Source: University of Southampton

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