In utero exposure to a maternal high-fat diet alters the epigenetic histone code in a murine model
Am J Obstet Gynecol
OBJECTIVE: Data from animal models show that in utero exposure to a maternal high-fat diet (HFD) renders susceptibility of these offspring to the adult onset of metabolic syndrome. We and others have previously shown that epigenetic modifications to histones may serve as a molecular memory of the in utero exposure, rendering the risk of adult disease. Because mice heterozygous for the Glut4 gene (insulin sensitive glucose transporter) born to wild-type (WT) mothers demonstrate exacterbated metabolic syndrome when exposed to an HFD in utero, we sought to analyze the genome-wide epigenetic changes that occur in the fetal liver in susceptible offspring. STUDY DESIGN: WT and Glut4(+/-) (G4(+/-)) offspring of WT mothers that were exposed either to a control or an HFD in utero were studied. Immunoblotting was used to measure hepatic histone modifications of fetal and 5-week animals. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by hybridization to chip arrays (ChIP-on-chip) was used to detect genome-wide changes of histone modifications with HFD exposure. RESULTS: We found that levels of hepatic H3K14ac and H3K9me3 significantly increased with HFD exposure in WT and G4(+/-) fetal and 5-week offspring. Pathway analysis of our ChIP-on-chip data revealed differential H3K14ac and H3K9me3 enrichment along pathways that regulate lipid metabolism, specifically in the promoter regions of Pparg, Ppara, Rxra, and Rora. CONCLUSION: We conclude that HFD exposure in utero is associated with functional alterations to fetal hepatic histone modifications in both WT and G4(+/-) offspring, some of which persist up to 5 weeks of age.
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Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health