Author(s): Schaible TD, Harris RA, Dowd SE, Smith CW, Kellermayer R
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Abstract Developmental epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, have been recognized as potential pathogenic factors in inflammatory bowel diseases, the hallmark of which is an exaggerated immune response against luminal microbes. A methyl-donor (MD) diet can modify DNA methylation at select murine genomic loci during early development. The components of the MDs are routinely incorporated into prenatal human supplements. Therefore, we studied the effects of maternal MD supplementation on offspring colitis susceptibility and colonic mucosal DNA methylation and gene expression changes in mice as a model. Additionally, we investigated the offspring mucosal microbiomic response to the maternal dietary supplementation. Colitis was induced by dextran sulfate sodium. Colonic mucosa from offspring of MD-supplemented mothers following reversal to control diet at weaning was interrogated by methylation-specific microarrays and pyrosequencing at postnatal days 30 (P30) and P90. Transcriptomic changes were analyzed by microarray profiling and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The mucosal microbiome was studied by high throughput pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA. Maternal MD supplementation induced a striking susceptibility to colitis in offspring. This phenotype was associated with colonic mucosal DNA methylation and expression changes. Metagenomic analyses did not reveal consistent bacteriomic differences between P30 and P90, but showed a prolonged effect of the diet on the offspring mucosal microbiome. In conclusion, maternal MD supplementation increases offspring colitis susceptibility that associates with persistent epigenetic and prolonged microbiomic changes. These findings underscore that epigenomic reprogramming relevant to mammalian colitis can occur during early development in response to maternal dietary modifications.
This article was published in Hum Mol Genet
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology