The placental epigenome regulates processes that affect placental and fetal development, and could be mediating some of the reported effects of maternal choline supplementation (MCS) on placental vascular development and nutrient delivery. As an extension of work previously conducted in pregnant mice, the current study sought to explore the effects of MCS on various epigenetic markers in the placenta. RNA and DNA were extracted from placentas collected on embryonic day 15.5 from pregnant mice fed a 1X or 4X choline diet, and were subjected to genome-wide sequencing procedures or mass-spectrometry-based assays to examine placental imprinted gene expression, DNA methylation patterns, and microRNA (miRNA) abundance. MCS yielded a higher (fold change = 1.63-2.25) expression of four imprinted genes (Ampd3, Tfpi2, Gatm and Aqp1) in the female placentas and a lower (fold change = 0.46–0.62) expression of three imprinted genes (Dcn, Qpct and Tnfrsf23) in the male placentas (false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05 for both sexes). Methylation in the promoter regions of these genes and global placental DNA methylation were also affected (p < 0.05). Additionally, a lower (fold change = 0.3; Punadjusted = 2.05 x 10; FDR = 0.13) abundance of miR-2137 and a higher (fold change = 1.25–3.92; p < 0.05) expression of its target genes were detected in the 4X choline placentas. These data demonstrate that the placental epigenome is responsive to maternal choline intake during murine pregnancy and likely mediates some of the previously described choline-induced effects on placental and fetal outcomes.
Kwan, Sze Ting (Cecilia); King, Julia H.; Grenier, Jennifer K.; Yan, Jian; Jiang, Xinyin; Roberson, Mark S.; and Caudill, Marie A., "Maternal Choline Supplementation during Normal Murine Pregnancy Alters the Placental Epigenome: Results of an Exploratory Study" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.