The embryo and its future

Fleming, Tom P., Kwong, Wing Yee, Porter, Richard, Ursell, Elizabeth, Fesenko, Irina, Wilkins, Adrian, Miller, Daniel J., Watkins, Adam J. and Eckert, Judith J. (2004). The embryo and its future. Biology of Reproduction, 71 (4), pp. 1046-1054.


The preimplantation mammalian embryo from different species appears sensitive to the environment in which it develops, either in vitro or in vivo, for example, in response to culture conditions or maternal diet. This sensitivity may lead to long-term alterations in the characteristics of fetal and/or postnatal growth and phenotype, which have implications for clinical health and biotechnological applications. We review the breadth of environmental influences that may affect early embryos and their responses to such conditions along epigenetic, metabolic, cellular, and physiological directions. In addition, we evaluate how embryo environmental responses may influence developmental potential and phenotype during later gestation. We conclude that a complex of different mechanisms may operate to associate early embryo environment with future health.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Biosciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: conceptus,early development,embryo,epigenetics,female reproductive tract,fetal and postnatal development,gene expression regulation,metabolism,pregnancy
Full Text Link: http://www.biol ... ntent/71/4/1046
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
Published Date: 2004-10-01
Authors: Fleming, Tom P.
Kwong, Wing Yee
Porter, Richard
Ursell, Elizabeth
Fesenko, Irina
Wilkins, Adrian
Miller, Daniel J.
Watkins, Adam J.
Eckert, Judith J.

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