DNA methylation profiling at imprinted loci after periconceptional micronutrient supplementation in humans: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial
ABSTRACT Intrauterine exposures mediated by maternal diet may affect risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Recent evidence, primarily from animal studies and observational data in humans, suggests that the epigenome can be altered by maternal diet during the periconceptional period and that these programming events may underlie later disease risk. A randomized controlled trial of periconceptional micronutrient supplementation in The Gambia, where seasonal nutritional variations affect fetal growth and postnatal outcomes, provided a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis. Specifically, we targeted imprinted genes, which play important roles in allocation of maternal resources while being epigenetically regulated. DNA methylation at 12 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) was analyzed in cord blood samples from 58 offspring of women participating in a double-blind randomized-controlled trial of pre- and periconceptional micronutrient supplementation (including folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and D). We observed sex-specific effects of micronutrient supplementation, reducing methylation levels at two of the DMRs analyzed, IGF2R in girls and GTL2-2 in boys. This pilot study is the first to analyze DNA methylation in the context of a randomized controlled trial, and it provides suggestive evidence that periconceptional maternal nutrition alters offspring methylation at imprinted loci.
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ABSTRACT: The epidemic increase of type 2 diabetes and obesity in developed countries cannot be explained by overnutrition, physical inactivity and/or genetic factors alone. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that an adverse intrauterine environment, in particular a shortage or excess of nutrients is associated with increased risks for many complex diseases later in life. An impressive example for the "fetal origins of adult disease" is gestational diabetes mellitus which usually presents in 1% to greater than 10% of third-trimester pregnancies. Intrauterine hyperglycemia is not only associated with increased perinatal morbidity and mortality, but also with increased lifelong risks of the exposed offspring for obesity, metabolic, cardiovascular, and malignant diseases. Accumulating evidence suggests that fetal overnutrition (and similarly undernutrition) lead to persistent epigenetic changes in developmentally important genes, influencing neuroendocrine functions, energy homeostasis and metabolism. The concept of fetal programming has important implications for reproductive medicine. Because during early development the epigenome is much more vulnerable to environmental cues than later in life, avoiding adverse environmental factors in the periconceptional and intrauterine period may be much more important for the prevention of adult disease than any (i.e. dietetic) measures in infants and adults. A successful pregnancy should not primarily be defined by the outcome at birth but also by the health status in later life.Molecular Human Reproduction 03/2013; 19(7). DOI:10.1093/molehr/gat020 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Disturbed body energy balance can lead to obesity and obesity-driven diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, which have reached an epidemic level. Evidence indicates that obesity-induced inflammation is a major cause of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Environmental factors, such as nutrients, affect body energy balance through epigenetic or chromatin-based mechanisms. As a bromodomain and external domain family transcription regulator, Brd2 regulates expression of many genes through interpretation of chromatin codes and participates in the regulation of body energy balance and immune function. In the severely obese state, Brd2 knockdown in mice prevented obesity-induced inflammatory responses, protected animals from insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction, and thus uncoupled obesity from diabetes. Brd2 provides an important model for investigation of the function of transcription regulators and the development of obesity and diabetes; it also provides a possible, innovative target to treat obesity and diabetes through modulation of the function of a chromatin code reader.Vitamins & Hormones 01/2013; 91:49-75. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-407766-9.00003-1 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multiple cues from the environment of our indirect and immediate ancestors, which often persist throughout the prenatal period and adulthood, are shaping our phenotypes through either direct, parent-to-child influences, or transgenerational inheritance. These effects are due to gene-environment interactions, which are intended to be a predictive tool and a mechanism of quick adaptation to the environment, as compared with genetic variations that are inherited over many generations. In certain circumstances the influences induced by the gene-environment interactions can have deleterious effects upon the health status, in the context of a radical change in the environment that does not fit with the predicted conditions, via epigenetic alterations. Conversely the best fit to the expected environment might have a delayed aging process and a longer life span. This review will touch upon the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DoHAD) concept, while discussing recent advances in the understanding of metabolic and cognitive disruptions, with a focus on epigenetic factors, their transgenerational effects, and the consequences they might have upon the onset of chronic disease and premature exitus.12/2012; 3(6):444-53.