Japanese  
  Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > Genes Link Growth in the… >
Genes Link Growth in the Womb with Adult Metabolism And Disease

Published: December 3, 2012.
By Wellcome Trust
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

Researchers have identified four new genetic regions that influence birth weight, providing further evidence that genes as well as maternal nutrition are important for growth in the womb. Three of the regions are also linked to adult metabolism, helping to explain why smaller babies have higher rates of chronic diseases later in life.

It has been known for some time that babies born with a lower birth weight are at higher risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Three genetic regions have already been identified that influence birth weight, two of which are also linked to an increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

The latest study analysed almost 70,000 individuals of European, Arab, Asian and African American descent from across 50 separate studies of pregnancy and birth. Their findings confirmed the three regions previously identified and also revealed four new genetic regions that are associated with birth weight. The study was part-funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the European Union, the Medical Research Council (UK), the Academy of Finland and the National Institute of Health (USA).

One of the new genetic regions is also associated with blood pressure in adulthood, providing the first evidence of a genetic link between birth weight and blood pressure. Two of the regions are known to be linked to adult height, showing that genes involved in growth begin to take effect at a very early stage.

Professor Mark McCarthy, a co-author of the study from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, said: "Our findings add to the growing evidence that events during early growth in the womb can have a significant impact on our health as adults. However, these genes tell only part of the story. It's important that we understand how much is down to genetics and how much is due to the environment in which we grow so that we can target efforts to prevent disease later in life."

It's not clear how the genetic regions identified affect both birth weight and adult metabolism, although the findings do offer some clues as to the biological pathways involved. For example, the two genetic regions linking birth weight with type 2 diabetes risk are also associated with reduced levels of insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating sugar levels in the blood, but it is also known to have an important role in early growth.

Dr Rachel Freathy, co-lead author and a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: "These discoveries give us important clues to the mechanisms responsible for the control of a baby's growth in the womb, and may eventually lead to a better understanding of how to manage growth problems during pregnancy."

Together, the newly identified genetic regions have a surprisingly large effect on birth weight when compared with known environmental influences. Dr Inga Prokopenko, co-lead author from the University of Oxford explained: "Birth weight is subject to powerful influences from many environmental factors. It was a surprise to see that the genetic effects in combination have a similar impact to that of maternal smoking in pregnancy, which itself is well known to lead to lower birth weight babies."


Show Reference »


Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


 
All comments are reviewed before being posted. We cannot accept messages that refer a product, or web site.If you are looking for a response to a question please use our another feedback page.
Related »

Weight 
10/28/10 
Low Birth Weight May Lead to Poor Growth Rate in Children with Kidney Disease
By American Society of Nephrology
The lower the birth weight, the greater the chance of poor growth rate in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study appearing in an upcoming …
Birth 
12/6/11 
Memory And Attention Problems May Follow Preemies into Adulthood
By American Academy of Neurology
Babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems when they become adults than babies born at a low to normal …
Low 
2/27/14 
Low Birth Weight Reduces Ability to Metabolize Drugs
By Oregon State University
PORTLAND, Ore. – Researchers have identified another concern related to low birth weight – a difference in how the body reacts to drugs, which may last a person's entire …
Weight 
12/3/12 
Genes Linked to Low Birth Weight, Adult Shortness And Later Diabetes Risk
By Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
An international team of genetics researchers has discovered four new gene regions that contribute to low birth weight. Three of those regions influence adult metabolism, and appear to affect …
Birth 
8/8/13 
Kids Born Small Should Get Moving
By Baylor College of Medicine
HOUSTON – (Aug. 8, 2013) – Female mice who were growth restricted in the womb were born at a lower birth weight, but were less active and prone to …
Birth 
5/30/13 
Good Kidney Health Begins Before Birth
By Monash University
Researchers have found that conditions in the womb can affect kidney development and have serious health implications for the child not only immediately after birth, but decades later. …
Weight 
4/2/12 
Caloric Moderation Can Reverse Link Between Low Birth Weight And Obesity, Early Study Indicates
By University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Babies who are born small have a tendency to put on weight during childhood and adolescence if allowed free access to calories. However, a new animal model study at …
Neuropeptides 
5/3/12 
Why Underweight Babies Become Obese: Study Says Disrupted Hypothalamus Is to Blame
By University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
It seems improbable that a baby born underweight would be prone to obesity, but it is well documented that these children tend to put on weight in youth if …
More » 
 
© Newsline Group  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese Edition
All contents are copyright of their owners except U.S. Government works. U.S. Government works are assumed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted. Everything else copyright ScienceNewsline.