ABSTRACT: During intrauterine life, genome interacts with maternal signals to influence the mRNA expression levels of specific genes persistently by regulating DNA methylation status. The objective of this study was to examine the responses of glucocorticoid receptor (GR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and gamma (PPARα and PPARγ) promoter methylation, mRNA expression of genes involved in energy metabolism and metabolite concentrations of intrauterine growth-retarded (IUGR) piglets to dietary folic acid supplementation. According to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 16 IUGR and 16 normal birth weight (NBW) piglets were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 5 mg/kg of folic acid from weaning (day 14) to day 35 of age. Triglycerides in hepatic tissue and plasma were significantly elevated in control diets-fed IUGR piglets compared with NBW piglets but were decreased by dietary folic acid supplementation. Hepatic mRNA expression levels of GR, PPARα, PPARγ, fatty acid synthase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) in IUGR piglets fed a control diet were significantly higher than that in NBW piglets, and promoter methylation status of GR, PPARα and PPARγ in IUGR piglets was reduced significantly compared with NBW piglets. However, the changes in gene expression and DNA methylation status of IUGR piglets were reversed by dietary folic acid supplementation. Hepatic DNA methyltransferase activity was greater with dietary folic acid supplementation regardless of birth weight. Taken together, these results demonstrated that folic acid supplementation during early period of life could prevent the changes of promoter methylation status and gene expressions in the liver of IUGR piglets.
J Anim Physiol a Anim Nutr 08/2012; · 0.86 Impact Factor