The Handbook of Nutrition, Diet and Epigenetics
Maternal malnutrition in perinatal life can have long-lasting adverse effects on glucose and lipid homeostasis in the offspring, culminating in dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and obesity. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying how these nutritional deficits during perinatal life lead to permanent changes in hepatic and adipose function will provide efficacious therapeutic strategies to mitigate these metabolic defects short- and long-term. This chapter addresses how epigenetic mechanisms mediate alterations in hepatic and adipose gene expression identified from clinical studies and different experimental models of maternal malnutrition. These include DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications, and microRNAs.