Summary: CSIRO PUBLISHING
Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 2008, 20, 7480 www.publish.csiro.au/journals/rfd
Epigenetic regulation during mammalian oogenesis
John BromfieldA,B, Will MessamoreA,B and David F. AlbertiniA,B,C,D
ADepartment of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas
Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.
BThe Center for Reproductive Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center,
Kansas City, KS 66160, USA.
CMarine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA.
DCorresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract. The advent of the epigenetic era has sparked a new frontier in molecular research and the understanding of how
development can be regulated beyond direct alterations of the genome. Thus far, the focal point of epigenetic regulation
during development has been chromatin modifications that control differential gene expression by DNA methylation
and histone alterations. But what of events that alter gene expression without direct influence on the DNA itself? The
present review focuses on epigenetic pathways regulating development from oogenesis to organogenesis and back that do
not involve methylation of cytosine in DNA. We discuss target components of epigenetic modification such as organelle
development, compartmentalisation of maternal factors and molecular mediators in the oocyte and how these factors acting
during oogenesis impact on later development. Epigenetic regulation of development, be it via cytosine methylation or
not, has wide-ranging effects on the subsequent success of a pregnancy and the intrinsic health of offspring. Perturbations
in epigenetic regulation have been clearly associated with disease states in adult offspring, including Type II diabetes,