Burdge, G.C., Slater-Jefferies, J.L., Torrens, C., Phillips, E.S., Hanson, M.A. and Lillycrop, K.A.
Feeding a protein-restricted diet during pregnancy in the rat induces altered gene promoter methylation in the liver of the F1 and F2 offspring [In special abstracts issue]
Early Human Development, 82, (8), . (doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.06.003).
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Background: There is evidence in humans and experimental
animals for non-genomic transmission of induced phenotypes
between generations. Induction of an altered phenotype in
the F1 generation by feeding a protein-restricted (PR) diet to
pregnant rats involves altered epigenetic regulation of
specific genes. We investigated whether altered epigenetic
regulation of hepatic PPARa and glucocorticoid receptor (GR)
promoters induced in the F1 generation by prenatal undernutrition
is passed to the F2 offspring.
Methods: Rats (F0) were fed a control (18% protein) or PR
(9% protein) diet throughout pregnancy and chow during
lactation. F1 females were mated and fed chow throughout
pregnancy and lactation. F1 and F2 offspring were fed chow.
Male offspring from the F1 and F2 generations (n =6 per F0
dietary group) were killed at day 80. Methylation of the
hepatic PPARa and GR promoters was determined by
methylation-sensitive real-time PCR. mRNA expression was
measured by real-time RT-PCR.
Results: Methylation of the hepatic PPARa and GR promoters
was lower (8% to 11%, p b0.05) in the F1 and F2 PR offspring.
There were trends towards higher PPARa and GR expression
in the PR offspring.
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