A team of researchers at Cardiff University, led by Anthony Isles, recently revealed how certain genes influence parenting behaviour.
The research, which focused on a specific area in the brain of mice called the ‘parenting centre’, suggests an interesting link between genetic heritage and the ability to care for offspring.
Research published on “Plus Genetics”discovered a phenomenon called “genetic fingerprint” In mammals, which can have implications for parental tendencies. Normally, each gene inherited from parents is equally expressed in cells. However, in imprinted genes, only one copy is expressed – maternal or paternal.
Analysis of neuron sequencing data inParenting Centre In the hypothalamus of mice, the team discovered the spread of imprinted genes. one of these, MAGIL2He was not previously associated with breeding. Mice lacking the active form of Magel2 have been found to be inattentive parents, with a tendency to create lower-quality nests.
The findings reveal that genetic imprinting can play a role in coordinating interactions between parents and offspring. Notably, the absence of the paternal version of Magel2 in pups showed a reduction in the ultrasonic sounds used to attract maternal attention. This indicates the existence of an evolutionary mechanism to modify parental behavior and promote optimal cooperation between parents and children.
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