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Front Neurosci. 2016 May 3;10:168. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00168. eCollection 2016.

DNA Methylation Profiling at Single-Base Resolution Reveals Gestational Folic Acid Supplementation Influences the Epigenome of Mouse Offspring Cerebellum.

Author information

1
Departments of Developmental Biochemistry, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities , Staten Island, NY, USA.
2
Human Genetics, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities , Staten Island, NY, USA.

Abstract

It is becoming increasingly more evident that lifestyle, environmental factors, and maternal nutrition during gestation can influence the epigenome of the developing fetus and thus modulate the physiological outcome. Variations in the intake of maternal nutrients affecting one-carbon metabolism may influence brain development and exert long-term effects on the health of the progeny. In this study, we investigated whether supplementation with high maternal folic acid during gestation alters DNA methylation and gene expression in the cerebellum of mouse offspring. We used reduced representation bisulfite sequencing to analyze the DNA methylation profile at the single-base resolution level. The genome-wide DNA methylation analysis revealed that supplementation with higher maternal folic acid resulted in distinct methylation patterns (P < 0.05) of CpG and non-CpG sites in the cerebellum of offspring. Such variations of methylation and gene expression in the cerebellum of offspring were highly sex-specific, including several genes of the neuronal pathways. These findings demonstrate that alterations in the level of maternal folic acid during gestation can influence methylation and gene expression in the cerebellum of offspring. Such changes in the offspring epigenome may alter neurodevelopment and influence the functional outcome of neurologic and psychiatric diseases.

KEYWORDS:

DNA methylation; brain development; cerebellum; folic acid; gestational development; psychiatric disease

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