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Title: Tissue and sex-specific programming of DNA methylation by perinatal lead exposure: implications for environmental epigenetics studies.

Authors: Svoboda, Laurie K; Neier, Kari; Wang, Kai; Cavalcante, Raymond G; Rygiel, Christine A; Tsai, Zing; Jones, Tamara R; Liu, Siyu; Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Lalancette, Claudia; Colacino, Justin A; Sartor, Maureen A; Dolinoy, Dana C

Published In Epigenetics, (2021 Oct)

Abstract: Early developmental environment can influence long-term health through reprogramming of the epigenome. Human environmental epigenetics studies rely on surrogate tissues, such as blood, to assess the effects of environment on disease-relevant but inaccessible target tissues. However, the extent to which environment-induced epigenetic changes are conserved between these tissues is unclear. A better understanding of this conservation is imperative for effective design and interpretation of human environmental epigenetics studies. The Toxicant Exposures and Responses by Genomic and Epigenomic Regulators of Transcription (TaRGET II) consortium was established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to address the utility of surrogate tissues as proxies for toxicant-induced epigenetic changes in target tissues. We and others have recently reported that perinatal exposure to lead (Pb) is associated with adverse metabolic outcomes. Here, we investigated the sex-specific effects of perinatal exposure to a human environmentally relevant level of Pb on DNA methylation in paired liver and blood samples from adult mice using enhanced reduced-representation bisulphite sequencing. Although Pb exposure ceased at 3 weeks of age, we observed thousands of sex-specific differentially methylated cytosines in the blood and liver of Pb-exposed animals at 5 months of age, including 44 genomically imprinted loci. We observed significant tissue overlap in the genes mapping to differentially methylated cytosines. A small but significant subset of Pb-altered genes exhibit basal sex differences in gene expression in the mouse liver. Collectively, these data identify potential molecular targets for Pb-induced metabolic diseases, and inform the design of more robust human environmental epigenomics studies.

PubMed ID: 33164632 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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