Developmental Environmental Exposure Alters the Epigenetic Features of Myometrial Stem Cells

Qiwei Yang* and Ayman Al-Hendy

Developmental Environmental Exposure Alters the Epigenetic Features of Myometrial Stem Cells

Uterine fibroids (UFs), are the most common pelvic tumors, occurring in 70-80% of all reproductive-aged women and are the leading indication for hysterectomy worldwide.

Although UFs are benign tumors, they typically cause severe menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, preterm
labor, recurrent abortion, and infertility.

Hysterectomy is currently the main treatment used in women who no longer desire childbearing.

The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease paradigm is one of the most
rapidly growing areas of biomedical research now-a-days.

This research field originated with early findings that prenatal nutrition was linked with late-onset coronary heart disease10 and malnutrition and low-level exposures to drugs and toxic substances are well tolerated by a
pregnant woman, but her gestating fetus would be afflicted by adverse effects, some of which
might become obvious only later in life.

The field has now broadened to encompass a variety of environmental and occupational hazards.
When these environmental insults disrupt early developmental processes, they may cause permanent changes in cellular characteristics that persist and then lead to increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases later in life.

Unlike in the adult, the perinatal/neonatal organ’s response to environmental exposure
is much more rapid and severe.

Environmental exposure is capable of causing organism toxicity due to immature immune system,
lack of deoxyribonucleic acid repair, poor liver metabolism, and incompletely formed organ
barriers in early life stage.

In addition to toxicity, environmental exposures during critical periods of organ development can permanently reprogram normal physiological responses to increase susceptibility to diseases later in life.

Gynecol Obstet Res Open J. 2016; 3(2): e1-e4. doi: 10.17140/GOROJ-3-e005