Fetal environment, epigenetics, and pediatric renal disease

Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 May;26(5):705-11. doi: 10.1007/s00467-010-1714-8. Epub 2010 Dec 21.


The notion that some adult diseases may have their origins in utero has recently captured scientists' attention. Some of these effects persist across generations and may involve epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic modifications, DNA methylation together with covalent modifications of histones, alter chromatin density and accessibility of DNA to cellular machinery, modulating the transcriptional potential of the underlying DNA sequence. Here, we will discuss the different epigenetic modifications and their potential role in and contribution to renal disease development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Kidney Diseases / congenital*
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics*