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Maternal-fetal programming: impact on biochemical, epigenetic and behavioral parameters


The embryonic development is governed by a wide range of intrinsic factors, but currently it is quite clear that environmental factors can affect epigenetic patterns interfering with the development. The epigenoma determines whether genes will be kept repressed or potentially active, which in turn will influence the phenotype at birth. Environmental and nutritional factors may have an important impact on the determination of how epigenoma will be modified or maintained during development, but also throughout life. Thus, we can postulate that the study of early environmental exposures effects in mechanisms that affect the fetal and neonate epigenoma may offer important information about the adult susceptibility to diseases. Considering the importance of fetal exposure to the environment, we are working on a line of research that have the objective to assess the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms in biochemical and behavioral changes that occur in adult life of mice in response to different types of pre and post natal manipulations. There are two models proposed in this project: in one of them is our interest to assess changes induced by sleep deprivation of pregnant mice in their offspring adult life. During pregnancy, 2/3 of women consider their sleep abnormal. These disturbances in the sleep occur since the first trimester of gestation, and seem to be influenced by drastic changes reproductive hormones levels that accompany the gestational period. The relationship between sleep deprivation and oxidative stress has not yet been fully clarified, however, there is evidence that sleep deprivation triggers oxidative processes in different organs. The induction of oxidative stress during pregnancy could lead to congenital malformations, or even fetal death. The other study involves an animal model developed by the Faculty of Medicine, USP, where exposure to air pollutants can be pre - and post-natal manipulated. There are a growing number of studies showing that changes in air quality are followed by changes in the health of children and adults, under various severity levels. Many studies report associations between air pollution exposure and increased cardio-respiratory disorders, however, little research on polluted air exposure on cognitive changes, and particularly, epigenetic changes are available. Thus, the possibility of investigation on the impact in the offspring of animals exposed to pollution during pregnancy may lead to important information. (AU)

Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FERNANDES, LEANDRO; CALEGARE, BRUNO F. A.; CAVALCANTE-SILVA, VANESSA; D'ALMEIDA, VANIA. Detraining in pregnancy and/or lactation modulates neuropeptidergic hypothalamic systems in offspring mice. ENDOCRINE, v. 50, n. 3, p. 715-724, DEC 2015. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ABE, KARINA CAMASMIE; BRANDAO, LETICIA DE CAMPOS; TUFIK, SERGIO; DO NASCIMENTO SALDIVA, PAULO HILARIO; D'ALMEIDA, VANIA. In utero exposure to air pollution lowers erythrocyte antioxidant defense and decreases weight in adult mice. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY, v. 32, n. 2, p. 315-318, SEP 2011. Web of Science Citations: 0.
AGUILAR CALEGARE, BRUNO FREDERICO; FERNANDES, LEANDRO; TUFIK, SERGIO; D'ALMEIDA, VANIA. Biochemical, biometrical and behavioral changes in male offspring of sleep-deprived mice. PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, v. 35, n. 5, p. 775-784, JUN 2010. Web of Science Citations: 17.
ABE, KARINA CAMASMIE; BRANDAO, LETICIA DE CAMPOS; AGUILAR CALEGARE, BRUNO FREDERICO; TUFIK, SERGIO; DO NASCIMENTO SALDIVA, PAULO HILARIO; D'ALMEIDA, VANIA. Homocysteine and cysteine concentrations are modified by recent exposure to environmental air pollution in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Environmental Research, v. 109, n. 7, p. 887-890, OCT 2009. Web of Science Citations: 2.

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