Epigenetics

Inheriting female infertility

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Science  26 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6532, pp. 902-903
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6532.902-c

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a major cause of female infertility. It is characterized by hormonal and often metabolic dysfunction but little is understood about its etiology. For women with PCOS who do become pregnant, there is a high probability that their daughters will develop PCOS. This heritability has been proposed to arise, at least partially, if the embryos are exposed to abnormal levels of hormones. Mimouni et al. studied a mouse model of PCOS and found several differentially methylated genes in the ovaries of third-generation mice, indicating epigenetic-mediated heritability. Several of these genes were also differentially methylated in blood samples from mothers and daughters with PCOS, indicating the potential for methylation as a diagnostic biomarker.

Cell Metab. 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.01.004 (2021).

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