Effect of maternal zinc deficiency on offspring health: The epigenetic impact.

Affiliation

Sanusi KO(1), Ibrahim KG(2), Abubakar B(3), Malami I(4), Bello MB(5), Imam MU(6), Abubakar MB(7).
Author information:
(1)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Department of Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(6)Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(7)Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria; Centre for Advanced Medical Research and Training, Usmanu Danfodiyo University PMB, 2254, Sokoto, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Zinc deficiency is associated with adverse effects on maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. These consequences have been reported over the years from zinc supplementation trials and observational studies whereby outcomes of maternal, foetal and infant health were measured. Owing to the importance of zinc in the functions of epigenetic enzymes, pre-clinical studies have shown that its deficiency could disrupt biological activities that involve epigenetic mechanisms in offspring. Thus, this review assessed the link between epigenetics and the effects of maternal zinc deficiency on the offspring's health in animal studies. METHODS: Research articles were retrieved without date restriction from PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases, as well as reference lists of relevant articles. The search terms used were "zinc deficiency", "maternal zinc deficiency", "epigenetics", and "offspring." Six studies met the eligibility criteria and were reviewed. RESULTS: All the eligible studies reported maternal zinc deficiency and observed changes in epigenetic markers on the progeny during prenatal and postnatal stages of development. The main epigenetic markers reported were global and gene specific methylation and/ or acetylation. The epigenetic changes led to mortality, disruption in development, and risk of later life diseases. CONCLUSION: Maternal zinc deficiency is associated with epigenetic modifications in offspring, which induce pathologies and increase the risk of later life diseases. More research and insight into the epigenetic mechanisms could spring up new approaches to combat the associated disease conditions.