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Epigenetics. 2012 Mar;7(3):253-60. doi: 10.4161/epi.7.3.19082.

Gestational intake of methyl donors and global LINE-1 DNA methylation in maternal and cord blood: prospective results from a folate-replete population.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. cboeke@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

Maternal diet affects offspring DNA methylation in animal models, but evidence from humans is limited. We investigated the extent to which gestational intake of methyl donor nutrients affects global DNA methylation in maternal and umbilical cord blood. Among mother-infant pairs in Project Viva, a folate-replete US population, we estimated maternal intakes of vitamin B12, betaine, choline, folate, cadmium, zinc and iron periconceptionally and during the second trimester. We examined associations of these nutrients with DNA methylation, measured as %5-methyl cytosines (%5mC) in Long Interspersed Nuclear Element-1 (LINE-1), in first trimester (n = 830) and second trimester (n = 671) maternal blood and in cord blood at delivery (n = 516). Cord blood methylation was higher for male than female infants {mean [standard deviation (SD)] 84.8 [0.6] vs. 84.4 [0.7]%}. In the multivariable-adjusted model, maternal intake of methyl donor nutrients periconceptionally and during the second trimester of pregnancy was not positively associated with first trimester, second trimester or cord blood LINE-1 methylation. Periconceptional betaine intake was inversely associated with cord blood methylation [regression coefficient = -0.08% (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.14,-0.01)] but this association was attenuated after adjustment for dietary cadmium, which itself was directly associated with first trimester methylation and inversely associated with cord blood methylation. We also found an inverse association between periconceptional choline [-0.10%, 95% CI: -0.17,-0.03 for each SD (~63 mg/day)] and cord blood methylation in males only. In this folate-replete population, we did not find positive associations between intake of methyl donor nutrients during pregnancy and DNA methylation overall, but among males, higher early pregnancy intakes of choline were associated with lower cord blood methylation.

PMID:
22430801
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3335948
Free PMC Article
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