Non-Genetic Inheritance, Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies
AbstractThe concept of non-genetic inheritance is gaining considerable attention in the assisted reproductive technology (ART) community due to the reported differences between children born from ART and those that are conceived naturally. It has been demonstrated that children conceived via ART have differences in fetal growth, birth weight, congenital abnormalities, cardiometabolic parameters, glucose homeostasis as well as changes to body composition compared to children conceived naturally.
... onceived naturally. Although these changes may have a parental contribution and may be influenced by the pathology of infertility there is concern that the technologies themselves may play a role. In support of this, is emerging evidence that aspects of ART technology such as culture media formulation and insemination method can alter offspring phenotype. In addition it is also documented that exposure to environmental factors, such as toxins can impact on offspring gametogenesis such that these perturbations persist through generations. With the increasing use of ART and the development of new technologies it is vital that we understand whether ART can effect non-genetic inheritance so that we can optimise technology and prevent abnormal programming and its impact on all aspects of offspring health including fertility and a possible transmission to subsequent generations.