IMR Press / FBS / Volume 9 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.2741/S497

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Epigenetics of reproductive infertility

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1 Epigenetics and Cancer Research Laboratory, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Group, Department of Life Science, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha 769008, India

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2017, 9(4), 509–535;
Published: 1 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive biomedicine: from basics to translational outcome)

Infertility is a complex pathophysiological condition. It may caused by specific or multiple physical and physiological factors, including abnormalities in homeostasis, hormonal imbalances and genetic alterations. In recent times various studies implicated that, aberrant epigenetic mechanisms are associated with reproductive infertility. There might be transgenerational effects associated with epigenetic modifications of gametes and studies suggest the importance of alterations in epigenetic modification at early and late stages of gametogenesis. To determine the causes of infertility it is necessary to understand the altered epigenetic modifications of associated gene and mechanisms involved therein. This review is devoted to elucidate the recent mechanistic advances in regulation of genes by epigenetic modification and emphasizes their possible role related to reproductive infertility. It includes environmental, nutritional, hormonal and physiological factors and influence of internal structural architecture of chromatin nucleosomes affecting DNA and histone modifications in both male and female gametes, early embryogenesis and offspring. Finally, we would like to emphasize that research on human infertility by gene knock out of epigenetic modifiers genes must be relied upon animal models.

DNA methylation
histone modification
non-coding RNAs
Germ Cell
Reproductive Disorder
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