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Influence of surrogate mother’s epigenetics

  1.  Libby

    Hello there, I’ve read some data about epigenetics and egg donation, epigenetics and surrogate motherhood, etc. and I think now I understand its basis, ok? But what is still unclear to me is how epigenetic mechanisms are passed from parents to offsprings, if so. In the case of surrogacy, I know thee egg is fertilized in vitro in a lab and then the resulting embryo is transferred and implanted in the womb of a woman other than the intended mother. My question is as follows: will all the factors that have an influence on epigenetic mechanisms be encoded in the genome of the baby? Or is it possible that her epigenetics have an influence on the epigenetic code of the baby-to-be? Don’t know if I’ve made myself clear enough…

    April 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm
    #9266 Reply
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    inviTRA's Moderator

    Hello Libby,

    First of all, it should be clear that when we talk about “epigenetics”, we refer to information that is not encoded in the DNA sequence of a human being. Epigenetic information is transmitted through cell division; therefore, it is directly inherited from the biological mother. On the other hand, it’s been proven that most epigenetic marks from the father’s chromosomes are removed when sperm is created.

    Nonetheless, it is also true that some epigenetic information can be modified. In this sense, there is evidence that the metabolism of the pregnant woman can influence the epigenetics of the unborn child. Diet is one of these factors. Experts also suggest that epigenetic changes may influence certain behavioral patterns of the baby-to-be.

    To sum up, it is indeed possible to some extent for the surrogate to influence the epigenetic information of the child.

    The following thread may be of interest: Epigenetics and egg donation.

    I hope I have been able to help,


    April 26, 2016 at 3:50 pm
    #9267 Reply
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