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Sci Rep. 2018 May 10;8(1):7494. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25831-9.

Gestational oral low-dose estradiol-17β induces altered DNA methylation of CDKN2D and PSAT1 in embryos and adult offspring.

Author information

1
ETH Zurich, Animal Physiology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Physiology Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
3
Department of Animal Physiology & Immunology, School of Life Sciences, Life Science Center Weihenstephan, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.
4
ETH Zurich, Animal Physiology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland. seu@ethz.ch.
5
Physiology Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. seu@ethz.ch.
6
Department of Animal Physiology & Immunology, School of Life Sciences, Life Science Center Weihenstephan, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany. seu@ethz.ch.

Abstract

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) interfere with the natural hormone balance and may induce epigenetic changes through exposure during sensitive periods of development. In this study, the effects of short-term estradiol-17β (E2) exposure on various tissues of pregnant sows (F0) and on day 10 blastocysts (F1) were assessed. Intergenerational effects were investigated in the liver of 1-year old female offspring (F1). During gestation, sows were orally exposed to two low doses and a high dose of E2 (0.05, 10, and 1000 µg/kg body weight/day). In F0, perturbed tissue specific mRNA expression of cell cycle regulation and tumour suppressor genes was found at low and high dose exposure, being most pronounced in the endometrium and corpus luteum. The liver showed the most significant DNA hypomethylation in three target genes; CDKN2D, PSAT1, and RASSF1. For CDKN2D and PSAT1, differential methylation in blastocysts was similar as observed in the F0 liver. Whereas blastocysts showed hypomethylation, the liver of 1-year old offspring showed subtle, but significant hypermethylation. We show that the level of effect of estrogenic EDC, with the periconceptual period as a sensitive time window, is at much lower concentration than currently presumed and propose epigenetics as a sensitive novel risk assessment parameter.

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