Fetal programming of chronic kidney disease: The role of maternal smoking, mitochondrial dysfunction, and epigenetic modfification

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Journal Article
American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology, 2015, 308 (11), pp. F1189 - F1196
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© 2015 the American Physiological Society. The role of an adverse in utero environment in the programming of chronic kidney disease in the adult offspring is increasingly recognized. The cellular and molecular mechanisms linking the in utero environment and future disease susceptibility remain unknown. Maternal smoking is a common modifiable adverse in utero exposure, potentially associated with both mitochondrial dysfunction and epigenetic modification in the offspring. While studies are emerging that point toward a key role of mitochondrial dysfunction in acute and chronic kidney disease, it may have its origin in early development, becoming clinically apparent when secondary insults occur. Aberrant epigenetic programming may add an additional layer of complexity to orchestrate fibrogenesis in the kidney and susceptibility to chronic kidney disease in later life. In this review, we explore the evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction and epigenetic modification through aberrant DNA methylation as key mechanistic aspects of fetal programming of chronic kidney disease and discuss their potential use in diagnostics and targets for therapy.
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