Affiliation: INIA, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n. 28040-Madrid, Spain.
Currently, it is well-known that changes in the maternal metabolic status induce changes in the intrauterine environment and modify the metabolic status of the fetuses, playing a key role in the growth, life-time fitness/obesity and probability of appearance of metabolic disorders in the offspring. There is increasing evidence that these effects may not be only limited to the first generation of descendants, the offspring directly exposed to metabolic challenges, but to subsequent generations either exposed (multigenerational exposure) or unexposed (intergenerational or transgenerational inheritance) to such metabolic defies, perpetuating the problem. Thus, having in mind the impact on worldwide public health, the present review outlines, based on results of translational animal research and clinical human studies, the mechanisms, pathways and practical implications involved in the transgenerational inheritance of the metabolic syndrome.