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Environ Health Perspect. 2018 Jul 23;126(7):077006. doi: 10.1289/EHP3441. eCollection 2018 Jul.

Longitudinal Effects of Developmental Bisphenol A Exposure on Epigenome-Wide DNA Hydroxymethylation at Imprinted Loci in Mouse Blood.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA



Epigenetic machinery plays an important role in genomic imprinting, a developmental process that establishes parent-of-origin-specific monoallelic gene expression. Although a number of studies have investigated the role of 5-methylcytosine in imprinting control, the contribution of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) to this epigenetic phenomenon remains unclear.


Using matched mouse blood samples (from mice at 2, 4, and 10 months of age), our objective was to examine the effects of perinatal bisphenol A (BPA) exposure (50 μg/kg diet) on longitudinal 5-hmC patterns at imprinted regions. We also aimed to test the hypothesis that 5-hmC would show defined patterns at imprinted genes that persist across the life course.


Genome-wide 5-hmC levels were measured using hydroxymethylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (HMeDIP-seq). Modeling of differential hydroxymethylation by BPA exposure was performed using a pipeline of bioinformatics tools, including the csaw R package.


Based on BPA exposure, we identified 5,950 differentially hydroxymethylated regions (DHMRs), including 12 DHMRs that were annotated to murine imprinted genes—Gnas, Grb10, Plagl1, Klf14, Pde10a, Snrpn, Airn, Cmah, Ppp1r9a, Kcnq1, Phactr2, and Pde4d. When visualized, these imprinted gene DHMRs showed clear, consistent patterns of differential 5-hmC by developmental BPA exposure that persisted throughout adulthood.


These data show long-term establishment of 5-hmC marks at imprinted loci during development. Further, the effect of perinatal BPA exposure on 5-hmC at specific imprinted loci indicates that developmental exposure to environmental toxicants may alter long-term imprinted gene regulation via an epigenetic mechanism.

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