Exposure to caffeine in utero alters embryonic gene expression in the heart

Image from The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk Photo credit: Alamy) Image from The Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk Photo credit: Alamy)

Granted this is not comparative physiology, I thought this study was really interesting.

Research has shown that exposure of developing embryos to caffeine in utero can alter the expression of genes in the heart leading to changes in how the heart develops and functions in adult animals. New research from the University of Florida published in the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology has examined changes in specific genes they believe are altered by physiologically-relevant concentrations of caffeine. Specifically, they found alterations in genes responsible for regulating cardiac structure, hormones, transcription factors and microRNAs. In fact, they identified 124 genes and 849 transcripts that were altered by exposure to caffeine in utero.

Source: 

Fang X, Mei W, Barbazuk WB, Rivkees SA, Wendler CC. Caffeine exposure alters cardiac gene expression in embryonic cardiomyocytes. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00307.2014

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quite interesting...!! but i really wnna know that how it is affecting the genes related to cardiac. what did you find thast is there any abnormality or better growth or else..???

Unborn baby's body systems are not fully developed for breaking down and eliminating chemicals, caffeine levels may remain elevated in the child for longer than in the mother. This can result in problems for babies such as birth defects, low birth weight and sleeping problems.

By George B Dunn (not verified) on 10 Apr 2015 #permalink

Developing babies lack the necessary enzymes to detoxify and break caffeine down thus caffeine is active for longer periods in the fetus than the pregnant woman.There is also a link between higher caffeine consumption and faster heart and breathing rates in babies in the first few days after birth. I've also read that studies showed increases in miscarriage and birth defects when people consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine a day. Is this caused by the alteration of gene expression in the heart and how precisely is the gene expression in the heart altered?

http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/Web2007/caffeinePregnant.htm

By Chanelle Olivi… (not verified) on 14 Apr 2015 #permalink

Developing babies lack the necessary enzymes to detoxify and break caffeine down thus caffeine is active for longer periods in the fetus than the pregnant woman. There is also a link between higher caffeine consumption and faster heart and breathing rates in babies in the first few days after birth. I've also read that studies showed increases in miscarriage and birth defects when people consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine a day. Is this caused by the alteration of gene expression in the heart and how precisely is the gene expression in the heart altered?

http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/Web2007/caffeinePregnant.htm

By Chanelle Olivi… (not verified) on 14 Apr 2015 #permalink

It is rather disconcerting that something that seems so insignificant as drinking coffee while pregnant can have such severe future impact on the baby. I hope more information like this is published to inform parents and protect babies.

In what trimester of pregnancy is the effects the most severe?

If caffeine has the possibility to cause such severe health hazards for unborn babies isn't it imperative that coffee companies like the tobacco companies must label their products as potentially dangerous for consumption by pregnant women.

There is certainly a lot more to learn about caffeine. Thank you for the post. We did a study years ago on the effects of caffeine on hearts of zebrafish larvae. Interestingly, it decreased heart rate and at high enough concentrations, the hearts stoppe entirely. The in-utero relevance of this is quite strong, in my opinion. There is very useful information in this caffeine chart: https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/ingredients-of-concern/caffeine-chart.
Best
http://metadoxical.blogspot.in/

By Kiranam Chatti (not verified) on 13 Apr 2017 #permalink