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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Arsenic exposure during embryonic development alters the expression of the long noncoding RNA growth arrest specific-5 (Gas5) in a sex-dependent manner.

Authors: Caldwell, Kevin K; Hafez, Alexander; Solomon, Elizabeth; Cunningham, Matthew; Allan, Andrea M

Published In Neurotoxicol Teratol, (2018 Mar - Apr)

Abstract: Our previous studies suggest that prenatal arsenic exposure (50ppb) modifies epigenetic control of the programming of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling system in the developing mouse brain. These deficits may lead to long-lasting consequences, including deficits in learning and memory, increased depressive-like behaviors, and an altered set-point of GR feedback throughout life. To understand the arsenic-induced changes within the GR system, we assessed the impact of in utero arsenic exposure on the levels of the GR and growth arrest-specific-5 (Gas5), a noncoding RNA, across a key gestational period for GR programming (gestational days, GD 14-18) in mice. Gas5 contains a glucocorticoid response element (GRE)-like sequence that binds the GR, thereby decreasing GR-GRE-dependent gene transcription and potentially altering GR programming. Prenatal arsenic exposure resulted in sex-dependent and age-dependent shifts in the levels of GR and Gas5 expression in fetal telencephalon. Nuclear GR levels were reduced in males, but unchanged in females, at all gestational time points tested. Total cellular Gas5 levels were lower in arsenic-exposed males with no changes seen in arsenic-exposed females at GD16 and 18. An increase in total cellular Gas-5 along with increased nuclear levels in GD14 arsenic-exposed females, suggests a differential regulation of cellular compartmentalization of Gas5. RIP assays revealed reduced Gas5 associated with the GR on GD14 in the nuclear fraction prepared from arsenic-exposed males and females. This decrease in levels of GR-Gas5 binding continued only in the females at GD18. Thus, nuclear GR signaling potential is decreased in prenatal arsenic-exposed males, while it is increased or maintained at levels approaching normal in prenatal arsenic-exposed females. These findings suggest that females, but not males, exposed to arsenic are able to regulate the levels of nuclear free GR by altering Gas5 levels, thereby keeping GR nuclear signaling closer to control (unexposed) levels.

PubMed ID: 29132937 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Arsenates/toxicity*; Embryonic Development/drug effects*; Embryonic Development/genetics; Female; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/drug effects*; Male; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Pregnancy; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/chemically induced; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/genetics*; RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics*; Receptors, Glucocorticoid/genetics; Receptors, Glucocorticoid/metabolism; Sex Characteristics*

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