Special Issue "Health and Disease through A Sex and Gender Lens"

A special issue of Epigenomes (ISSN 2075-4655).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Olga Kovalchuk
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Interests: epigenetics; gene expression; molecular biology; expression profiling; high throughput sequencing; epigenetic dysregulation in carcinogenesis; radiation epigenetics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Gerlinde A.S. Metz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Interests: brain and behavior; epigenetics; sex differences in stress responses; developmental origins of health and disease; lifetime health trajectories; aging
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the recent advances in research, it has become exceedingly obvious that sex- and gender-based studies and analyses are crucial to expand our knowledge and understanding of health and disease, as well as the health effects of environmental influences and exposures. As defined by the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, a global leader in sex and gender research, “the goal of sex and gender science is to advance the development of personalized treatments, interventions, policies, and programs that respond to the unique needs of all individuals—across sex, gender and other intersecting identity factors”.

A collection of articles focusing on the effects of sex and gender in health and disease are proposed. We will invite scholars in the field to contribute articles on the mechanisms of sex differences in disease predisposition, treatment responses, gene–environment interactions, as well as gender differences in health and disease. We will also focus on the very important area of LGBTQ health.

Prof. Dr. Olga Kovalchuk
Dr. Gerlinde A.S. Metz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Epigenomes is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Early-Life Exposure to Environmental Contaminants Perturbs the Sperm Epigenome and Induces Negative Pregnancy Outcomes for Three Generations via the Paternal Lineage
Epigenomes 2021, 5(2), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5020010 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Due to the grasshopper effect, the Arctic food chain in Canada is contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) of industrial origin, including polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. Exposure to POPs may be a contributor to the greater incidence of poor fetal growth, placental [...] Read more.
Due to the grasshopper effect, the Arctic food chain in Canada is contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) of industrial origin, including polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. Exposure to POPs may be a contributor to the greater incidence of poor fetal growth, placental abnormalities, stillbirths, congenital defects and shortened lifespan in the Inuit population compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians. Although maternal exposure to POPs is well established to harm pregnancy outcomes, paternal transmission of the effects of POPs is a possibility that has not been well investigated. We used a rat model to test the hypothesis that exposure to POPs during gestation and suckling leads to developmental defects that are transmitted to subsequent generations via the male lineage. Indeed, developmental exposure to an environmentally relevant Arctic POPs mixture impaired sperm quality and pregnancy outcomes across two subsequent, unexposed generations and altered sperm DNA methylation, some of which are also observed for two additional generations. Genes corresponding to the altered sperm methylome correspond to health problems encountered in the Inuit population. These findings demonstrate that the paternal methylome is sensitive to the environment and that some perturbations persist for at least two subsequent generations. In conclusion, although many factors influence health, paternal exposure to contaminants plays a heretofore-underappreciated role with sperm DNA methylation contributing to the molecular underpinnings involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Disease through A Sex and Gender Lens)
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Open AccessArticle
A Pilot Study Investigating the Role of Gender in the Intergenerational Relationships between Gene Expression, Chronic Pain, and Adverse Childhood Experiences in a Clinical Sample of Youth with Chronic Pain
Epigenomes 2021, 5(2), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5020009 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Chronic pain is a highly prevalent and costly issue that often emerges during childhood or adolescence and persists into adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase risk for several adverse health conditions, including chronic pain. Recent evidence suggests that parental trauma (ACEs, post-traumatic stress [...] Read more.
Chronic pain is a highly prevalent and costly issue that often emerges during childhood or adolescence and persists into adulthood. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase risk for several adverse health conditions, including chronic pain. Recent evidence suggests that parental trauma (ACEs, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms) confers risk of poor health outcomes in their children. Intergenerational relationships between parental trauma and child chronic pain may be mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. A clinical sample of youth with chronic pain and their parents completed psychometrically sound questionnaires assessing ACEs, PTSD symptoms, and chronic pain, and provided a saliva sample. These were used to investigate the intergenerational relationships between four epigenetic biomarkers (COMT, DRD2, GR, and SERT), trauma, and chronic pain. The results indicated that the significant biomarkers were dependent upon the gender of the child, wherein parental ACEs significantly correlated with changes in DRD2 expression in female children and altered COMT expression in the parents of male children. Additionally, the nature of the ACE (maltreatment vs. household dysfunction) was associated with the specific epigenetic changes. There may be different pathways through which parental ACEs confer risk for poor outcomes for males and females, highlighting the importance of child gender in future investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Disease through A Sex and Gender Lens)
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