Kuzawa and Quinn 201 - Developmental Origins of Adult Function and Health Evolutionary Hypotheses Christopher W Kuzawa and Elizabeth A Quinn

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Unformatted text preview: Developmental Origins of Adult Function and Health: Evolutionary Hypotheses Christopher W. Kuzawa and Elizabeth A. Quinn Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208; email: [email protected] Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2009. 38:131–47 First published online as a Review in Advance on June 19, 2009 The Annual Review of Anthropology is online at anthro.annualreviews.org This article’s doi: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-091908-164350 Copyright c 2009 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved 0084-6570/09/1021-0131$20.00 Key Words developmental plasticity, adaptation, fetal growth, DOHaD, reproduction, life history Abstract Many biological systems have critical periods that overlap with the age of maternal provisioning via placenta or lactation. As such, they serve as conduits for phenotypic information transfer between generations and link maternal experience with offspring biology and disease out- comes. This review critically evaluates proposals for an adaptive func- tion of these responses in humans. Although most models assume an adult function for the metabolic responses to nutritional stress, these specific traits have more likely been tailored for effects during fetal life and infancy. Other biological functions are under stronger evolutionary selection later in life and thus are better candidates for predictive plas- ticity. Given the long human life cycle and environmental changes that are unpredictable on decadal timescales, plastic responses that evolved to confer benefits in adolescence or adulthood likely rely on cues that integrate matrilineal experiences prior to gestation. We conclude with strategies for testing the timescale and adaptive significance of devel- opmental responses to early environments. 131 A n n u . R e v . A n t h r o p o l . 2 9 . 3 8 : 1 3 1- 1 4 7 . D o w n l o a d e d f r o m w w w . a n n u a l r e v i e w s . o r g b y U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a- I r v i n e o n 9 / 2 4 / 1 . F o r p e r s o n a l u s e o n l y . Developmental plasticity: the ability of a gene to generate a range of possible phenotypes (body and behavior) contingent on environmental experience Programming: an environmentally induced, durable biological change in the structure or function of a tissue, organ, or biological system DOHaD: developmental origins of health and disease CVD: cardiovascular disease Induction: synonymous with programming INTRODUCTION Anthropology has traditionally studied devel- opmental plasticity as a contributor to human variation (Boas 1912) and as a mode of adap- tation to environmental change (Lasker 1969, Frisancho 1993). There has recently been a resurgence of interest in developmental plas- ticity as research has demonstrated that nu- tritional, hormonal, and other aspects of the prenatal and infant environments have effects on physiology and metabolism that persist into adult life (Barker 1994). Such examples of biological programming can involve modi- fied growth of organs and tissues and are in-...
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Kuzawa and Quinn 201 - Developmental Origins of Adult Function and Health Evolutionary Hypotheses Christopher W Kuzawa and Elizabeth A Quinn

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