Ancestral TCDD exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of imprinted gene Igf2: Methylation status and DNMTs

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Ancestral TCDD exposure could induce epigenetic transgenerational phenotypes, which may be mediated in part by imprinted gene inheritance. The aim of our study was to evaluate the transgenerational effects of ancestral TCDD exposure on the imprinted gene insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2) in rat somatic tissue. TCDD was administered daily by oral gavage to groups of F0 pregnant SD rats at dose levels of 0 (control), 200 or 800 ng/kg bw during gestation day 8–14. Animal transgenerational model of ancestral exposure to TCDD was carefully built, avoiding sibling inbreeding. Hepatic Igf2 expression of the TCDD male progeny was decreased concomitantly with hepatic damage and increased activities of serum hepatic enzymes both in the F1 and F3 generation. Imprinted Control Region (ICR) of Igf2 manifested a hypermethylated pattern, whereas methylation status in the Differentially Methylated Region 2 (DMR2) showed a hypomethylated manner in the F1 generation. These epigenetic alterations in these two regions maintained similar trends in the F3 generation. Meanwhile, the expressions of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B) changed in a non-monotonic manner both in the F1 and F3 generation. This study provides evidence that ancestral TCDD exposure may promote epigenetic transgenerational alterations of imprinted gene Igf2 in adult somatic tissue.

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