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Biomed Rep. 2016 Nov;5(5):548-552. Epub 2016 Oct 11.

Epigenetic changes in peripheral leucocytes as biomarkers in intrauterine growth retardation rat.

Author information

1
Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310052, P.R. China.
2
Department of Neonatology, The Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310052, P.R. China.

Abstract

Epigenetics plays an important role in the fetal origins of adult disease. Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) can cause increased histone acetylation of the endothelin-1 (ET-1) gene from pulmonary vascular endothelial cells or the whole lung tissue and persist into later life, likely resulting in increased risk of pulmonary hypertension or asthma later in life. However, little is known regarding the correlation of epigenetic changes between specific tissue and peripheral leucocytes. In the present study, an IUGR rat model was established by maternal nutrient restriction. Peripheral blood leucocytes were isolated to detect the ET-1 expression level. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to analyze histone modification of the ET-1 gene promoter. The ET-1 protein expression of leucocytes from the 1-week IUGR group was similar to that from the 1-week control group. ET-1 protein expression of leucocytes from 10-week IUGR rats was obviously higher than that of the other groups (P<0.05). The levels of acetylated histone H3 in the ET-1 promoter of leucocytes from the 1-week IUGR rats were significantly higher than those from the age-matched control group (P=0.004). Furthermore, the trends continued ≤10 weeks after birth. In conclusion, epigenetic modifications of leucocytes can in part reflect the epigenetic changes of lung tissue in IUGR rats. Epigenetics of peripheral leucocytes may be used as a biomarker for predicting the risk of the development of disease, and may be used as a surrogate to investigate the subsequent development of pulmonary vascular disease or asthma.

KEYWORDS:

endothelin-1; epigenetics; intrauterine growth retardation; leucocytes

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