It has long been established that an adverse maternal condition impacts on the developing fetus and predisposes the offspring to develop metabolic and cardiovascular disease in later life. However, the underlying mechanisms that are initiated during development and contribute to the disease predisposition are understudied. Recently, epigenetic reprogramming in early life has emerged as a promising candidate that could cause altered DNA transcription and gene expression into adulthood and contribute to disease susceptibility. This review will focus on the impact of maternal high fat diet to the offspring in early life and the adult health consequences. We will then discuss the current literature supporting a role for epigenetic modification, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, as a key mechanism underlying developmental programming.
Laker, R. C., Wlodek, M. E., Connelly, J. J., & Yan, Z. (2013). Epigenetic origins of metabolic disease: The impact of the maternal condition to the offspring epigenome and later health consequences. Food Science and Human Wellness, 2(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fshw.2013.03.002