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Intergenerational Effects of Alcohol: A Review of Paternal Preconception Ethanol Exposure Studies and Epigenetic Mechanisms in the Male Germline.

Authors
  • Rompala, Gregory R1
  • Homanics, Gregg E1, 2, 3, 4
  • 1 Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 2 Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 3 Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • 4 Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2019
Volume
43
Issue
6
Pages
1032–1045
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/acer.14029
PMID: 30908630
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

While alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a highly heritable psychiatric disease, efforts to elucidate that heritability by examining genetic variation (e.g., single nucleotide polymorphisms) have been insufficient to fully account for familial AUD risk. Perhaps not coincidently, there has been a burgeoning interest in novel nongenomic mechanisms of inheritance (i.e., epigenetics) that are shaped in the male or female germ cells by significant lifetime experiences such as exposure to chronic stress, malnutrition, or drugs of abuse. While many epidemiological and preclinical studies have long pointed to a role for the parental preconception environment in offspring behavior, over the last decade many studies have implicated a causal relationship between the environmentally sensitive sperm epigenome and intergenerational phenotypes. This critical review will detail the heritable effects of alcohol and the potential role for epigenetics. © 2019 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

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