Sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses in humans.

Eur J Hum Genet 2006 Feb;14(2):159-66

Clinical and Molecular Genetics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, England, UK.

Transgenerational effects of maternal nutrition or other environmental 'exposures' are well recognised, but the possibility of exposure in the male influencing development and health in the next generation(s) is rarely considered. However, historical associations of longevity with paternal ancestors' food supply in the slow growth period (SGP) in mid childhood have been reported. Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we identified 166 fathers who reported starting smoking before age 11 years and compared the growth of their offspring with those with a later paternal onset of smoking, after correcting for confounders. We analysed food supply effects on offspring and grandchild mortality risk ratios (RR) using 303 probands and their 1818 parents and grandparents from the 1890, 1905 and 1920 Overkalix cohorts, northern Sweden. After appropriate adjustment, early paternal smoking is associated with greater body mass index (BMI) at 9 years in sons, but not daughters. Sex-specific effects were also shown in the Overkalix data; paternal grandfather's food supply was only linked to the mortality RR of grandsons, while paternal grandmother's food supply was only associated with the granddaughters' mortality RR. These transgenerational effects were observed with exposure during the SGP (both grandparents) or fetal/infant life (grandmothers) but not during either grandparent's puberty. We conclude that sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses exist in humans and hypothesise that these transmissions are mediated by the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Such responses add an entirely new dimension to the study of gene-environment interactions in development and health.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201538DOI Listing
February 2006
58 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

food supply
16
transgenerational effects
8
development health
8
transgenerational responses
8
sex-specific male-line
8
male-line transgenerational
8
paternal
5
northern sweden
4
adjustment early
4
sweden appropriate
4
appropriate adjustment
4
overkalix cohorts
4
1905 1920
4
1920 overkalix
4
early paternal
4
cohorts northern
4
greater body
4
bmi years
4
years sons
4
sons daughters
4

References

(Supplied by CrossRef)

AJ Drake et al.
J Endocrinol 2004

J Shorter et al.
Nature Rev Genet 2005

GC Ostermeier et al.
Nature 2004

K Yasui et al.
Cancer Res 2004

ES Epel et al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci 2004

A Bird et al.
Genes Dev 2002

VK Rakyan et al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci 2003

MD Anway et al.
Science 2005

LO Bygren et al.
Acta Biotheoretica 2001

G Kaati et al.
Eur J Hum Genet 2002

J Golding et al.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2001

Similar Publications