Restricted maternal diets may lead to gene expression changes that may affect lung function in offspring, according to research published in Nutrition Research.

A team of investigators found that lower caloric intake in pregnant mice caused alterations in genes that are crucial for pulmonary endothelial function.

Results showed that in offspring of the energy-restricted mice, the genes fibronectin-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were up-regulated and the expression of the genes involved in regulating histone acetylation was significantly reduced.

Roman said this study illustrates that nutrition in and of itself can change the way genes behave and may have implications on the development of chronic lung disease, yet raises many more questions.