Vol. 19, No. 2, 2010
Issue release date: February 2010
Open Access Gateway
Med Princ Pract 2010;19:87–98
(DOI:10.1159/000273066)
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Developmental Origins of Adult Disease

Langley-Evans S.C. · McMullen S.
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
email Corresponding Author


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Programming
  • Nutrition
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome

 goto top of outline Abstract

Variation in the quality or quantity of nutrients consumed during pregnancy can exert permanent and powerful effects upon the developing fetus. This programming of fetal development is emerging as a new risk factor for non-communicable diseases of adulthood, including coronary heart disease and the metabolic syndrome. Epidemiological studies show that indicators of nutritional deficit in pregnancy are associated with greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular mortality. The study of programming in relation to disease processes has been advanced by the development of animal models, which have utilized both under- and overfeeding of specific nutrients in pregnancy. Studies of this nature support the nutritional programming hypothesis and provide tools with which to examine the mechanisms through which programming may occur. Studies of animals subject to undernutrition in utero generally exhibit changes in the structure of key organs, such as the kidney and pancreas. These effects are consistent with the concept that programming influences remodel the development of organs. The causal pathways which extend from tissue remodelling to disease processes are relatively well characterised. In contrast, the processes which drive disordered organ development are poorly understood. It is noteworthy that minor perturbation of maternal nutritional status can programme fetal development. It is suggested therefore that programming is a product of altered expression of key genes. This drives the tissue remodelling response and future disease risk.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Simon Langley-Evans
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington
Loughborough, LE12 5RD (UK)
Tel. +44 115 951 6139, Fax +44 115 951 6122
E-Mail simon.langley-evans@nottingham.ac.uk


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: April 8, 2009
Revised: September 2, 2009
Published online: February 04, 2010
Number of Print Pages : 12
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 129


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Medical Principles and Practice (International Journal of the Kuwait University Health Sciences Centre)

Vol. 19, No. 2, Year 2010 (Cover Date: February 2010)

Journal Editor: Owunwanne A. (Kuwait)
ISSN: 1011-7571 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0151 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/MPP


Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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