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Developmental programming and the predictive adaptive response for Tuesday 11/10

Developmental programming is thought to be a source of many adult diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The notion that early life experiences, including nutrient transfer from the mother in utero, can anticipate future environments and also shape the risk of later adult diseases has been termed the predictive adaptive response, or PAR.

This relationship first came to light when Barker documented a curious association between birth weight and adult cardiac events in British men. Babies born small had a higher risk of chronic inflammatory diseases as adults. These small babies have been described as adopting a “thrifty phenotype.” That is, nutrient deprivation as a fetus is thought to have shaped the developmental trajectory in these individuals. This shift results in reduced expenditure on muscle and increased energy storage as fat.


1) Kuzawa Evolution developmental plasticity, and metabolic disease

2) Birth Weight and Coronary Heart Disease

3) Birth Weight and Insulin Resistance

4) PNAS-2013-Hayward PAR

5) Horta Metaanalysis of breastfeeding and obesity


5) Developmental Origins of Obesity

6) Predictive Adaptive Response

In keeping with the last two weeks, there will be no writing project. Instead, find examples from  the internet how early life experiences change the body’s development in ways that cause disease? Could these changes also be adaptive, or not? (Try using the search terms “Predictive Adaptive Response” and or “Developmental Origin of Health and Disease” or DOHAD)

Watch You Tube Video on Epigenetics and Fetal Programming:

  Paul Franks: Genetic and epigenetic catalysts in early-life programming of adult cardiometabolic disorders.

Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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