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Epigenetic adaptation of the placental serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) to gestational diabetes mellitus

Blažević, Sofia Ana; Horvatiček, Marina; Kesić, Maja; Zill, Peter; Hranilović, Dubravka; Ivanišević, Marina; Desoye, Gernot; Štefulj, Jasminka (2017) Epigenetic adaptation of the placental serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) to gestational diabetes mellitus. PLoS One, 12 (6). e0179934-e0179934. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) alters the DNA methylation pattern of the fetal serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), and examined the functional relevance of DNA methylation for regulation of the SLC6A4 expression in the human placenta. The study included 50 mother-infant pairs. Eighteen mothers were diagnosed with GDM and 32 had normal glucose tolerance (NGT). All neonates were of normal birth weight and born at term by planned Cesarean section. DNA and RNA were isolated from samples of tissue collected from the fetal side of the placenta immediately after delivery. DNA methylation was quantified at 7 CpG sites within the SLC6A4 distal promoter region using PCR amplification of bisulfite treated DNA and subsequent DNA sequencing. SLC6A4 mRNA levels were measured by reverse transcription - quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Functional SLC6A4 polymorphisms (5HTTLPR, STin2, rs25531) were genotyped using standard PCR-based procedures. Average DNA methylation across the 7 analyzed loci was decreased in the GDM as compared to the NGT group (by 27.1%, p=0.037) and negatively correlated, before and after adjustment for potential confounder/s, with maternal plasma glucose levels at the 24th to 28th week of gestation (p<0.05). Placental SLC6A4 mRNA levels were inversely correlated with average DNA methylation (p=0.010) while no statistically significant association was found with the SLC6A4 genotypes (p>0.05). The results suggest that DNA methylation of the fetal SLC6A4 gene is sensitive to the maternal metabolic state in pregnancy. They also indicate a predominant role of epigenetic over genetic mechanisms in the regulation of SLC6A4 expression in the human placenta. Longitudinal studies in larger cohorts are needed to verify these results and determine to which degree placental SLC6A4 changes may contribute to long-term outcomes of infants exposed to GDM.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: serotonin ; serotonin transporter ; SLC6A4 ; 5HTTLPR genotype ; epigenetics ; DNA methylation ; gestational diabetes mellitus ; placenta ; pregnancy
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
BIOMEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE > Basic Medical Sciences
Divisions: Division of Molecular Biology
Projects:
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Epigenetička regulacija gena za monoamin-oksidazu B (MAO-B)Štefulj, JasminkaHKS-2016-5UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Jasminka Štefulj
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 14:00
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 14:03
URI: http://fulir.irb.hr/id/eprint/3650
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179934

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