Unbalanced placental expression of imprinted genes in human intrauterine growth restriction.
ABSTRACT Imprinted genes control fetal and placental growth in mice and in rare human syndromes, but the role of these genes in sporadic intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is less well-studied. We measured the ratio of mRNA from a maternally expressed imprinted gene, PHLDA2, to that from a paternally expressed imprinted gene, MEST, by Northern blotting in 38 IUGR-associated placentae and 75 non-IUGR placentae and found an increase in the PHLDA2/MEST mRNA ratio in IUGR (p=0.0001). Altered expression of PHLDA2 and MEST was not accompanied by changes in DNA methylation within their imprinting centers, and immunohistochemistry showed PHLDA2 protein appropriately restricted to villous and intermediate cytotrophoblast in the IUGR placentae. We next did a genome-wide survey of mRNA expression in 14 IUGR placentae with maternal vascular under-perfusion compared to 15 non-IUGR placentae using Affymetrix U133A microarrays. In this series six imprinted genes were differentially expressed by ANOVA with a Benjamini-Hochberg false discovery rate of 0.05, with increased expression of PHLDA2 and decreased expression of MEST, MEG3, GATM, GNAS and PLAGL1 in IUGR placentae. At lower significance, we found IGF2 mRNA decreased and CDKN1C mRNA increased in the IUGR cases. We confirmed the significant reduction in MEG3 non-translated RNA in IUGR placentae by Northern blotting. In addition to imprinted genes, the microarray data highlighted non-imprinted genes acting in endocrine signaling (LEP, CRH, HPGD, INHBA), tissue growth (IGF1), immune modulation (INDO, PSG-family genes), oxidative metabolism (GLRX), vascular function (AGTR1, DSCR1) and metabolite transport (SLC-family solute carriers) as differentially expressed in IUGR vs. non-IUGR placentae.
SourceAvailable from: Argyro Syngelaki[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Identifying the genetic input for fetal growth will help to understand common, serious complications of pregnancy such as fetal growth restriction. Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic process that silences one parental allele, resulting in monoallelic expression. Imprinted genes are important in mammalian fetal growth and development. Evidence has emerged showing that genes that are paternally expressed promote fetal growth, whereas maternally expressed genes suppress growth. We have assessed whether the expression levels of key imprinted genes correlate with fetal growth parameters during pregnancy, either early in gestation, using chorionic villus samples (CVS), or in term placenta. We have found that the expression of paternally expressing insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), its receptor IGF2R, and the IGF2/IGF1R ratio in CVS tissues significantly correlate with crown-rump length and birthweight, whereas term placenta expression shows no correlation. For the maternally expressing pleckstrin homology-like domain family A, member 2 (PHLDA2), there is no correlation early in pregnancy in CVS but a highly significant negative relationship in term placenta. Analysis of the control of imprinted expression of PHLDA2 gave rise to a maternally and compounded grand-maternally controlled genetic effect with a birthweight increase of 93/155 g, respectively, when one copy of the PHLDA2 promoter variant is inherited. Expression of the growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (GRB10) in term placenta is significantly negatively correlated with head circumference. Analysis of the paternally expressing delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) shows that the paternal transmission of type 1 diabetes protective G allele of rs941576 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) results in significantly reduced birth weight (-132 g). In conclusion, we have found that the expression of key imprinted genes show a strong correlation with fetal growth and that for both genetic and genomics data analyses, it is important not to overlook parent-of-origin effects.Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 03/2015; 370(1663). DOI:10.1098/rstb.2014.0074 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate reproductive outcomes in aged compared to young female mice, and determine associated methylation and expression of imprinted genes in reproductive tissues. Fetal, placental, and ovarian tissue were collected on d16.5 of pregnancy from young (4-5 weeks) and aged (15 months) mice. Uterine tissue and in vivo matured oocytes were collected from non-pregnant females. Methylation of imprinted genes was determined by restriction enzyme based assays, and transcript abundance of imprinted and nutrient supply genes were analyzed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). Maternal age was associated with fetal growth restriction and placental overgrowth. In maternally aged mice, methylation was minimally dysregulated in fetal tissue, while placental tissue showed aberrant methylation and transcript abundance of imprinted genes. Ovarian methylation and gene expression was severely dysregulated, although oocyte gene expression was only minimally altered. Abundance of Kcnq1 transcripts was significantly (P < 0.05) increased in oocytes obtained from aged females compared to young females. Gene expression was also severely dysregulated in the uterus, including nutrient transport genes. Fetal and placental growth abnormalities correspond to aberrant methylation and gene expression in reproductive tissues from maternally aged mice. Significant alterations in gene expression and methylation in the aged ovary suggests that the follicular environment may be compromised. Aberrant methylation and expression of imprinted genes in the aged uterus may contribute to reduced implantation. Maternal age negatively affects imprinted gene methylation and expression in both germ cells and somatic cells of the reproductive tract, contributing to the reduced fertility observed with advanced maternal age.Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10815-015-0463-9 · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epigenetic changes in the placenta have been postulated to act as mediators between environmental influences and poor fetal growth. We assessed if genes with a plausible influence on growth could be aberrantly methylated in placental samples from pregnancies complicated by intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). A candidate gene approach was undertaken using a custom Illumina Goldengate(®) array on a collection of placental samples from growth restricted pregnancies and normally grown controls with confirmation using bisulphite pyrosequencing. The custom array analysis revealed that the promoter of RASSF1A was the only region with significant methylation differences between IUGR placentas and those from pregnancies with appropriate growth for gestational age (AGA). The RASSF1A promoter had increased levels of DNA methylation in IUGR samples compared to controls. Interestingly, the methylation difference was also observed in preeclamptic samples. Higher methylation was associated with a concomitant decrease in expression of the RASSF1 transcript A, but not other isoforms that originate from an alternative, nearby promoter interval. Our results do not support the hypothesis that altered DNA-methylation in the placenta is a mechanism generally involved in fetal growth restriction. A specific region corresponding to the promoter of RASSF1A does display methylation changes in placenta that could be used to identify at-risk pregnancies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Placenta 01/2015; 36(4). DOI:10.1016/j.placenta.2015.01.011 · 3.29 Impact Factor