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Two DNA methylation markers are associated with maternal pre-gestational BMI and metabolic parameters in the offspring

26 March 2024

The current obesity pandemic means that a large proportion of women of childbearing age are obese. In addition to affecting women's reproductive health, maternal obesity is also associated with an increased risk of obesity in offspring.

DNA methylation is a chemical marker found in genetic material (DNA) that regulates the activity of genes in the body. It is thought that DNA methylation may be involved in the development of maternal and offspring obesity.

The Maternal-Fetal Metabolic research group at IDIBGI has published a study in the scientific journal Biomedicines that confirms the existence of a relationship between these methylation marks and the metabolic and obesity parameters of the offspring at 6 years of age.

The paper has as corresponding authors Dr. Judit Bassols, leader of this research group, and Dr. Abel López-Bermejo, leader of the research group on Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk in Paediatrics, and the researcher Ariadna Gómez is the first author.

To come to this result, the team analysed DNA methylation in placenta and umbilical cord samples from 24 mothers and identified two methylation marks associated with maternal obesity. These two marks were also studied in a larger group of 90 mothers and their children. These methylation marks were found to be related to metabolic and obesity parameters of their children at age 6 years.

The findings suggest that examination of these two methylation markers in the placenta and umbilical cord of the newborn could be useful in identifying children who are more susceptible to metabolic diseases and obesity in childhood.

Artículo de referencia: Gómez-Vilarrubla, A.; Mas-Parés, B.; Carreras-Badosa, G.; Bonmatí-Santané, A.; Martínez-Calcerrada, J.-M.; Niubó-Pallàs, M.; de Zegher, F.; Ibáñez, L.; López-Bermejo, A.; Bassols, J. DNA Methylation Signatures in Paired Placenta and Umbilical Cord Samples: Relationship with Maternal Pregestational Body Mass Index and Offspring Metabolic Outcomes. Biomedicines 202412, 301.


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