The potential brain drain from environmental exposures on the methylome and genome across generations

Janine M LaSalle, Keith W. Dunaway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

While autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a strong genetic basis, the apparent increase in prevalence in recent generations has raised concerns about environmental exposures and potential interactions with genetic risk factors. DNA methylation is an epigenetic layer on top of DNA sequence at the interface of genetic and environmental factors known to overlap with metabolism and nutrition. Here we review and discuss the evidence from human studies pointing to complex interactions between genetic factors and in utero environment. We also examine the impact of chemical exposures on DNA methylation in brain as well as overall effect on development and reproduction. Transgenerational effects of chemical exposures on ASD risk are still an open question, but evidence supporting the need to ask such questions are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Autism Research: New Horizons for Diagnosis and Treatment
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Pages375-406
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9789814602167
ISBN (Print)9789814602150
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Brain
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Epigenomics
  • Genome stability
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Cite this

    LaSalle, J. M., & Dunaway, K. W. (2014). The potential brain drain from environmental exposures on the methylome and genome across generations. In Frontiers in Autism Research: New Horizons for Diagnosis and Treatment (pp. 375-406). World Scientific Publishing Co.. https://doi.org/10.1142/9789814602167_0015