Transgenerational transmission of environmental effects through epigenetic modifications

The history of Distilbène® (Diethylstilbestrol) told to grandchildren – the transgenerational effect

2015 Study Abstract

The Distilbène® story is a dramatic episode which belongs to the history of medicine. It provided several useful lessons such as the importance of evidence-based medicine and the hazard to develop treatments during pregnancy without careful animal verifications. However, this experience has also provided unexpected progress by suggesting new pathophysiological concepts: fetal programming of adult diseases and/or transgenerational transmission of environmental effects through epigenetic modifications.

Overview

  • Introduction
  • History
  • Diseases reported in second generation after foetal exposure to DES
    • Developmental and reproductive anomalies
    • Non-reproductive anomalies
  • Diseases reported in the third generation after the grandmother was treated with DES during pregnancy
    • Human abnormalities
    • Concordance with rodent model
  • Which molecular mechanisms?
    • Exposure window
    • Chemical nature of estrogens
    • The mechanisms involved in foetal programming of adult diseases – epigenetic modifications
    • Transgenerational transmission mechanisms
  • Conclusion
  • Disclosure of interest

Sources

  • Full paper (free access) : The history of Distilbène® (Diethylstilbestrol) told to grandchildren–the transgenerational effect, ANNALES D’ENDOCRINOLOGIE, EM Consulte, article/990390, 22/07/15.
  • Featured image Isaiah Rustad.
DES DIETHYLSTILBESTROL RESOURCES

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