Modulation of the genome and epigenome of individuals susceptible to autism by environmental risk factors

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Apr 20;16(4):8699-718. doi: 10.3390/ijms16048699.


Diverse environmental factors have been implicated with the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Genetic factors also underlie the differential vulnerability to environmental risk factors of susceptible individuals. Currently the way in which environmental risk factors interact with genetic factors to increase the incidence of ASD is not well understood. A greater understanding of the metabolic, cellular, and biochemical events involved in gene x environment interactions in ASD would have important implications for the prevention and possible treatment of the disorder. In this review we discuss various established and more alternative processes through which environmental factors implicated in ASD can modulate the genome and epigenome of genetically-susceptible individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome, Human
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors