A growing body of evidence supports the concept of perinatal programming through which the perinatal environment affects the development of the fetus and infant, thereby modifying the risk profile for disease later in life. Increasing attention is focusing on the role of the early environment in the development of chronic intestinal disorders. Epidemiological studies have highlighted the link between perinatal factors, such as breastfeeding, cesarean delivery, and antibiotic use, and an increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease and/or celiac disease. These links are consistent with the concept of perinatal programming of intestinal inflammatory disorders. Animal models have shown that the early-life environment affects the development of the gastrointestinal tract, but further experimental studies are needed to confirm the long-term effects of the perinatal environment on susceptibility to chronic intestinal disorders later in life. Changes in the development and composition of the intestinal microbiota as well as epigenetic changes are emerging as key mechanisms through which the perinatal environment determines susceptibility to intestinal inflammatory disorders.
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal microbiota
- Perinatal programming
Ley, D., Desseyn, J. L., Mischke, M., Knol, J., Turck, D., & Gottrand, F. (2017). Early-life origin of intestinal inflammatory disorders. Nutrition Reviews, 75(3), 175-187. https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuw061