Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 Mar;109(3):443-452.
doi: 10.1111/apa.15050. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Epigenetic programming-The Important First 1000 Days


Epigenetic programming-The Important First 1000 Days

Agnes Linnér et al. Acta Paediatr. .


The perinatal period is a time of fast physiological change, including epigenetic programming. Adverse events may lead to epigenetic changes, with implications for health and disease. Our review covers the basics of clinical epigenetics and explores the latest research, including the role of epigenetic processes in complex disease phenotypes, such as neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and immunological disorders. Some studies suggest that epigenetic alterations are linked to early life environmental stressors, including mode of delivery, famine, psychosocial stress, severe institutional deprivation and childhood abuse. CONCLUSION: Epigenetic modifications due to perinatal environmental exposures can lead to lifelong, but potentially reversible, phenotypic alterations and disease.

Keywords: deoxyribonucleic acid methylation; developmental origins of health and disease; epigenetics; paediatrics; perinatology.

Similar articles

See all similar articles



    1. Boersma GJ, Bale TL, Casanello P, et al. Long-term impact of early life events on physiology and behaviour. J Neuroendocrinol. 2014;26(9):587-602.
    1. 1000 Days non-profit organization.Popular web page accessed on January 20, 2019.
    1. Waddington CH. The Strategy of the Genes: A Discussion of Some Aspects of Theoretical Biology. London: Allen & Undwin; 1957.
    1. Mørkve Knudsen T, Rezwan FI, Jiang Y, Karmaus W, Svanes C, Holloway JW. Transgenerational and intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018;142(3):765-772.
    1. Ptashne M. On the use of the word 'epigenetic'. Curr Biol. 2007;17(7):233-236.

LinkOut - more resources