Background The H19/IGF2 imprinted loci have attracted recent attention because of their role in cellular differentiation and proliferation, heritable gene regulation, and in utero or early postnatal growth and development. Expression from the imprinted H19/IGF2 locus involves a complex interplay of 3 means of epigenetic regulation: proper establishment of DNA methylation, promoter occupancy of CTCF, and expression of microRNA-675. We have demonstrated previously in a multigenerational rat model of intrauterine growth restriction the epigenetic heritability of adult metabolic syndrome in a F2 generation. We have further demonstrated abrogation of the F2 adult metabolic syndrome phenotype with essential nutrient supplementation of intermediates along the 1-carbon pathway and shown that alterations in the metabolome precede the adult onset of metabolic syndrome. The upstream molecular and epigenomic mediators underlying these observations, however, have yet to be elucidated fully. Objective In the current study, we sought to characterize the impact of the intrauterine growth-restricted lineage and essential nutrient supplementation on both levels and molecular mediators of H19 and IGF2 gene expression in the F2 generation. Study Design F2 intrauterine growth-restricted and sham lineages were obtained by exposing P1 (grandmaternal) pregnant dams to bilateral uterine artery ligation or sham surgery at gestational day 19.5. F1 pups were allocated to the essential nutrient supplemented or control diet at postnatal day 21, and bred at 6-7 weeks of age. Hepatic tissues from the resultant F2 offspring at birth and at weaning (day 21) were obtained. Bisulfite modification and sequencing was employed for methylation analysis. H19 and IGF2 expression was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Promoter occupancy was quantified by the use of chromatin immunoprecipitation, or ChIP, against CTCF insulator proteins. Results Growth-restricted F2 on control diet demonstrated significant down-regulation in H19 expression compared with sham lineage (0.7831 vs 1.287; P <.05); however, essential nutrient supplementation diet abrogates this difference (4.995 vs 5.100; P >.05). Conversely, Igf2 was up-regulated by essential nutrient supplemented diet on the sham lineage (2.0 fold, P =.01), an effect that was not observed in the growth restricted offspring. A significant differential methylation was observed in the promoter region of region H19 among the intrauterine growth-restricted lineage (18% vs 25%; P <.05) on a control diet, whereas the essential nutrient supplemented diet was alternately associated with hypermethylation in both lineages (sham: 50%; intrauterine growth restriction: 84%, P <.05). Consistent with essential nutrient supplementation impacting the epigenome, a decrease of CTCF promoter occupancy was observed in CTCF4 of the growth restricted lineage (2.45% vs 0.56%; P <.05) on the control diet, an effect that was repressed with essential nutrient supplementation. Conclusion Heritable growth restriction is associated with changes in H19 gene expression; these changes are reversible with diet supplementation to favorably impact adult metabolic syndrome.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez, P., Cantu, J., O’Neil, D., Seferovic, M. D., Goodspeed, D. M., Suter, M. A., & Aagaard, K. M. (2016). Alterations in expression of imprinted genes from the H19/IGF2 loci in a multigenerational model of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 214(5), 625.e1-625.e11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2016.01.194