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Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2016 Jun;43(2):59-81. English. Review.
Bunkar N , Pathak N , Lohiya NK , Mishra PK .
Translational Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Dr. Hari Singh Central University, Sagar, India.
Reproductive Physiology Laboratory, Centre for Advanced Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.
Department of Molecular Biology, National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (ICMR), Bhopal, India.

It is well established that there is a heritable element of susceptibility to chronic human ailments, yet there is compelling evidence that some components of such heritability are transmitted through non-genetic factors. Due to the complexity of reproductive processes, identifying the inheritance patterns of these factors is not easy. But little doubt exists that besides the genomic backbone, a range of epigenetic cues affect our genetic programme. The inter-generational transmission of epigenetic marks is believed to operate via four principal means that dramatically differ in their information content: DNA methylation, histone modifications, microRNAs and nucleosome positioning. These epigenetic signatures influence the cellular machinery through positive and negative feedback mechanisms either alone or interactively. Understanding how these mechanisms work to activate or deactivate parts of our genetic programme not only on a day-to-day basis but also over generations is an important area of reproductive health research.

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