Offspring Sex Impacts DNA Methylation and Gene Expression in Placentae from Women with Diabetes during Pregnancy
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Exposure to diabetes in utero is known to increase the offspring's likelihood of developing metabolic disease in adulthood, but the mechanisms involved are unknown. It has been proposed that early exposure to hyperglycemia and elevated insulin levels may lead to malprogramming of the fetus leading to the subsequent development of diabetes and obesity. Epigenetic modifications of the genome including DNA methylation, provide a plausible mechanism that allows for permanent propagation of gene activity states from one generation of cells to the next.
The placenta, a fetal tissue easily accessible for study, is a complex organ that is essential in regulating fetal growth. The changes in placental nutrient transport associated with diabetes during pregnancy (DDP) have significant effects on the developing fetus, indicating that the placenta plays a critical role in fetal programming. The aim of our study was to investigate whether exposure to DDP alters genome-wide DNA methylation in the placenta obtained from term pregnancies resulting in differentially methylated loci ... (Show More)