Epigenetics in the GI Tract during Health and Inflammation
Matthias Zilbauer speaks on epigenetics in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract during health and inflammation. Epigenetics can be defined as stable, potentially heritable changes in cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than alterations in the DNA sequence. Microbiota contributes to the maintenance of intestinal symbiosis via epigenetic modification of the host gene. Following in-utero development, the intestinal mucosa is colonized postnatally by a vast number and variety of microbes while exposed to a multitude of increasingly complex nutrients. Conversely, alterations to these processes, possibly as a result of changes in our environment, are increasingly being recognized as major contributing factors to the development of GI- related diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).