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The close link between the fetal programming imprinting and neurodegeneration in adulthood: The key role of “hemogenic endothelium” programming


The research on neurodegenerative diseases (NeuroDegD) has been traditionally focused on later life stages. There is now an increasing evidence, that they may be programmed during early development. Here, we propose that NeuroDegD are the result of the complex process of imprinting on fetal hemogenic endothelium, from which the microglial cells make to origin. The central role of placenta and epigenetic mechanisms (methylation of DNA, histone modifications and regulation by non-coding RNAs) in mediating the short and long-term effects has been also described. Precisely, it reports their role in impacting plasticity and memory of microglial cells. In addition, we also underline the necessity of further studies for clearing all mechanisms involved and developing epigenetic methods for identifying potential targets as biomarkers, and for developing preventive measures. Such biomarkers might be used to identify individuals at risk to NeuroDegD. Finally, the sex dependence of fetal programming process has been discussed. It might justify the sex differences in the epidemiologic, imaging, biomarkers, and pathology studies of these pathologies. The discovery of related mechanisms might have important clinical implications in both the etiology of disorders and the management of pregnant women for encouraging healthy long-term outcomes for their children, and future generations. Impending research on the mechanisms related to transgenerational transmission of prenatal stress might consent the development and application of therapies and/or intervention strategies for these disorders in humans.