日本衛生学雑誌
ミニ特集 発達期環境に起因する疾患素因の形成―DOHaDの視点から―
環境要因のエピジェネティクス作用と発達障害
久保田 健夫
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ジャーナル フリー

71 巻 (2016) 3 号 p. 200-207

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Epigenetics is an important mechanism of gene regulation that is dependent on the chromatin structure, which is determined by the epigenetic chemical modification of DNA and histone proteins. It is known that the failure of epigenetic mechanisms causes congenital neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs), and that early life exposure to mental stress and endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as phthalates, bisphenol A, and tobacco, can change epigenetic mechanism and gene expression in the brain and cause NDs. Moreover, environmentally induced epigenetic changes are not erased during gametogenesis and are transmitted to subsequent generations, leading to changes in behavior phenotypes. However, epigenetics has a reversible nature because it is based on the addition or removal of chemical residues, and thus the original epigenetic status may be restored. Indeed, several drugs used for mental disorders and NDs restore the epigenetic state and gene expression. Improved epigenetic understanding of NDs will provide important clues for the development of new drugs that take advantage of epigenetic reversibility.

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© 2016 日本衛生学会
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