To read the full abstract: Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2018; 29(10):675685
This paper comprehensively reviews current knowledge on epigenetic mechanisms in adipose tissue that may account for transgenerational dysregulation of adipocyte formation and adipose tissue function.
There is increasing evidence that adult-onset disorders, including obesity, may derive from events that take place during fetal and early postnatal development. Today, the term developmental programming is increasingly used to describe this phenomenon. In this process the functioning of organs or organ systems is permanently shaped (programming) during critical development phases (prenatal and neonatal) by the influence of factors such as hormones. In case of a disturbance of this programming e.g. by an oversupply of nutrients or by abnormal concentrations of hormones, it can result in incorrect programming of the function of organs or organ systems, which in later life favour the development of chronic illnesses such as obesity or diabetes mellitus.
The authors summarize here the results of studies in animal models and humans that support the hypothesis that adipose tissue is subject to developmental programming events. They highlight the differences in adipogenesis between rodents and humans, which is important to consider in the interpretation and discussion of results of future studies. The authors show extensive graphics and figures in which they sum up the ideas about epigenetic mechanisms during adipose tissue development as well as the concept of epigenetic memory in adipose tissue by the example of malnourished dams.