Carone, B R, et al., Paternally Induced Transgenerational Environmental Reprogramming of Metabolic Gene Expression in Mammals. Cell, 2010. 143(7): 1084-96.
Metabolon results led to:
- The first clear example of paternally transmitted metabolic reprogramming of progeny – “metabolic inheritance”
- A new framework from which to study the impact of nutrition and environment, particularly from an epidemiological perspective
Key metabolomic observations:
- Depleted cholesterol and cholesterol esters in the livers of the cohort with a low-protein diet.
- Differences in specific lipid classes
One intriguing suggestion with epigenetics is the idea of epigenetic inheritance systems that could provide a mechanism by which parents could transfer information to their offspring about the environment they experienced. However, at the time of this study, there was a dearth of evidence for this in mammals. Thus, investigators subjected male mice to different diets, and offspring were evaluated for metabolic differences. Gene expression and Lipomic lipid analysis indicated differences in hepatic lipogenesis and cholesterol metabolism with offspring (persists for at least two generations). Thus, some form of metabolic reprogramming is paternally transmitted. The authors suggest that the reprogramming may affect a number of specific pathways by epigenetic reprogramming. By providing this new found link, these results extend the impact of nutrition beyond the post-natal terrestrial life-cycle.