Environmental Susceptibility of the Sperm Epigenome During Windows of Male Germ Cell Development
Krawetz, Stephen A.
Pilsner, J. Richard
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CitationWu, Haotian, Russ Hauser, Stephen A. Krawetz, and J. Richard Pilsner. 2015. “Environmental Susceptibility of the Sperm Epigenome During Windows of Male Germ Cell Development.” Current Environmental Health Reports 2 (4): 356-366. doi:10.1007/s40572-015-0067-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40572-015-0067-7.
AbstractMale germ cells require multiple epigenetic reprogramming events during their lifespan to achieve reproductive capacity. An emerging body of compelling data demonstrates that environmental exposures can be embodied within the developing male germ cell as epigenetic marks. In turn, these epigenetic marks can impart information at fertilization to affect the trajectory of offspring health and development. While it is recognized that in utero epigenetic reprogramming of male germ cells is a particularly susceptible window to environmental exposures, other such windows exist during germ cell development. The objective of this review is to discuss epigenetic reprogramming events during male germ cell development and to provide supporting evidence from animal and human studies that during specific periods of development, germ cells are susceptible to environmentally induced epigenetic errors. Moving forward, the nascent field of sperm epigenetics research is likely to advance our understanding of paternal environmental determinants of offspring health and development.
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