The role of imprinted genes in fetal growth

Monica Miozzo, Giuseppe Simoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genomic imprinting is the phenomenon by which one of the two alleles of a subset of genes is preferentially expressed according to its parental origin. This pattern of inheritance is different from the more frequent mode of Mendelian inheritance, which is not influenced by the parental origin of the allele. The idea that imprinted genes can affect fetal growth is becoming increasingly intriguing as it has been shown that most imprinted genes are expressed in the placenta and some play a role in regulating the interactions between its fetal and maternal interfaces. This article considers genomic imprinting by reviewing recent findings of alterations in fetal growth related to different types of genetic changes affecting the expression of imprinted genes. Among the genetic anomalies, the uniparental disomy (UPD) defines the inheritance of both homologous chromosomes from only one parent. UPDs of a number of chromosomes have been described in association with effects on the phenotype. We reviewed cases of UPD reported till now with particular reference to those associated to growth alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Fetal growth
  • Genetic imprinting
  • Mosaicism
  • Uniparental disomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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