Roles of One-carbon Metabolism in Preimplantation Period
ABSTRACT One-carbon metabolism (OCM) can be seen as integrated metabolic pathways centered on the metabolism of two nutritional substances, folate and methionine. Mammalian oocytes and preimplantation embryos express almost all enzymes that participate in OCM, suggesting that they can independently metabolize OCM nutrients. A deficiency or excess of OCM nutrients and their metabolites during in vitro culture affects preimplantation development of mammalian embryos. Recent in vivo studies have demonstrated that specific OCM dietary interventions during the periconceptional (mainly oocyte growth and preimplantation) period can cause epigenetic alterations in DNA of offspring and program the long-term consequences in their health in adulthood. The epigenetic processes are likely to be implicated in the effects of OCM nutrients; however, understanding their effects at the level of specific genes and their implications in assisted reproductive technology will require further investigations.
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ABSTRACT: Folate plays a key role in the interactions between nutrition, fetal programming, and epigenomics. Maternal folate status influences DNA methylation, inheritance of the agouti phenotype, expression of imprinting genes, and the effects of mycotoxin FB1 on heterochromatin assembly in rodent offspring. Deficiency in folate and other methyl donors increases birth defects and produces visceral manifestations of fetal programming, including liver and heart steatosis, through imbalanced methylation and acetylation of PGC1-α and decreased SIRT1 expression, and produces persistent cognitive and learning disabilities through impaired plasticity and hippocampal atrophy. Maternal folate supplementation also produces long-term epigenomic effects in offspring, some beneficial and others negative. Deciphering these mechanisms will help understanding the discordances between experimental models and population studies of folate deficiency and supplementation.Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 03/2013; 24(6). DOI:10.1016/j.tem.2013.01.010 · 8.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Excessive exposure to alcohol prenatally has a myriad of detrimental effects on the health and well-being of the offspring. It is unknown whether chronic low-moderate exposure of alcohol prenatally has similar and lasting effects on the adult offspring's health. Using our recently developed Sprague-Dawley rat model of 6% chronic prenatal ethanol exposure, this study aimed to determine if this modest level of exposure adversely affects glucose homeostasis in male and female offspring aged up to eight months. Plasma glucose concentrations were measured in late fetal and postnatal life. The pancreas of 30 day old offspring was analysed for β-cell mass. Glucose handling and insulin action was measured at four months using an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test and insulin challenge, respectively. Body composition and metabolic gene expression were measured at eight months. Despite normoglycaemia in ethanol consuming dams, ethanol-exposed fetuses were hypoglycaemic at embryonic day 20. Ethanol-exposed offspring were normoglycaemic and normoinsulinaemic under basal fasting conditions and had normal pancreatic β-cell mass at postnatal day 30. However, during a glucose tolerance test, male ethanol-exposed offspring were hyperinsulinaemic with increased first phase insulin secretion. Female ethanol-exposed offspring displayed enhanced glucose clearance during an insulin challenge. Body composition and hepatic, muscle and adipose tissue metabolic gene expression levels at eight months were not altered by prenatal ethanol exposure. Low-moderate chronic prenatal ethanol exposure has subtle, sex specific effects on glucose homeostasis in the young adult rat. As aging is associated with glucose dysregulation, further studies will clarify the long lasting effects of prenatal ethanol exposure.PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e59718. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0059718 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Endogenous folate stores are required in preimplantation embryos of several species, but how folates are accumulated and whether they can be replenished has not been determined. Folates are generally taken up into cells by specific transporters, mainly the reduced folate carrier RFC1 (SLC19A1 protein) and the high-affinity folate receptors FOLR1 and FOLR2. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that Slc19a1 mRNA was expressed in mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) and oocytes, while Folr1 showed expression only in preimplantation embryos, increasing from the 2-cell stage onwards. mRNAs encoding Folr2 or the intestinal folate transporter Slc46a1 were not detected. Methotrexate, an antifolate often used as a model substrate for folate transport, exhibited saturable transport in COCs and in preimplantation embryos starting at the 2-cell stage. However, folate transport characteristics differed between COCs and embryos. In COCs, transport of MTX and the reduced folate leucovorin was inhibited by the anion transport inhibitor SITS that blocks RFC1 but was insensitive to dynasore, a specific dynamin inhibitor that instead inhibits folate receptor-receptor mediated endocytosis, while the opposite was found in 2-cell embryos and blastocysts. The inhibitor profile and transport properties of MTX and leucovorin in COCs correspond to established transport characteristics of the reduced folate carrier RFC1 (SLC19A1), while those in 2-cell embryos and blastocysts instead correspond with FOLR1, consistent with the mRNA expression patterns. While considerable folate was accumulated in COCs via RFC1, the presence of cumulus cells did not enhance folate accumulation in the enclosed oocyte, indicating a lack of transfer from cumulus to oocyte.Biology of Reproduction 07/2013; 89(3). DOI:10.1095/biolreprod.113.111146 · 3.45 Impact Factor