Many studies have shown that organism is mostly sensitive to different influences in pre- and postnatal periods of ontogenesis. During the critical periods of development, these influences induce changes in the organism that relate to ontogenetic plasticity and lead to permanent changes in structure and function of different organs and systems of the organism. It is suggested that the main molecular mechanisms of so-called “ontogenetic programming” are based on changes that occur on the epigenetic level, including changes in the genetic expression not connected with modifications of DNA structure. The present review deals with experimental and epidemiologic evidences of the role of epigenetic processes in aging and determination of susceptibility to some age-related diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and insulin-independent diabetes.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 13, 2011
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