Identifying embryonic regulators of health-span to improve child lifetime outcomes
Chief Investigator: Dr Yasmyn Winstanley [Early Career Researcher]
Funding Amount : $40,000
Recipient: The University of Adelaide
Children now are predicted to have shorter lifespan than their parents. This project will identify how maternal environmental signals impinge upon molecular machinery in embryonic cells that determines offspring lifespan. We discovered that embryos from female mice with obesity or advanced-age have shortened telomeres- the protective DNA at chromosome ends that determines lifespan. These results explain epidemiological studies showing children of obese and older mothers have shorter telomeres, and risk factors that decrease lifespan. We will now uncover mechanisms regulating telomere elongation during embryogenesis, identifying how nuclear and cytoplasmic portions of pluripotent embryonic cells establish postnatal telomere length and healthspan.