About this Research Topic
Trace elements are needed in minute quantities for growth, development, and other vital biological processes. Perinatal deficiencies of some of these elements are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Subtle deficiencies that do not result in mortality may have long lasting effects, whose implications on the burden of chronic diseases are unraveling in recent years. Trace element deficiencies among pregnant women and/or infants are fairly common despite the increased needs due to the rapid growth phase of the growing fetuses and/or early post-natal life.
Many epigenetically-active enzymes including DNA methyl transferases (DNMTs), histone acetylases (HATs) and deacetylases (HDACs) are dependent on trace elements for their catalytic activity and their deficiencies can lead to abnormal intrauterine and/or early post-natal epigenetic modifications aimed at enhancing survival in the face of such deficiencies through modifying gene expression and biochemical processes. These adaptations have multi-generational implications on health outcomes; non-communicable chronic diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally and the available evidence suggests that epigenetic adaptations may be contributing to the overall burden of these diseases.
However, insights into the effects of perinatal and early post-natal trace element deficiencies on long term health are lacking. We seek submissions describing how maternal, paternal and early life trace element deficiencies affect offsprings’ adult life health and disease, with emphasis on the underlying epigenetic changes that predispose to such outcomes.
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