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Prenatal Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, Adiposity, Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR) γ Methylation in Offspring, Grand-Offspring Mice

Yan, Zhonghai; Zhang, Hanjie; Maher, Christina; Arteaga-Solis, Emilio; Champagne, Frances Anne; Wu, Licheng; McDonald, Jacob D.; Yan, Beizhan; Schwartz, Gary J.; Miller, Rachel L.

Rationale
Greater levels of prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) have been associated with childhood obesity in epidemiological studies. However, the underlying mechanisms are unclear.

Objectives
We hypothesized that prenatal PAH over-exposure during gestation would lead to weight gain and increased fat mass in offspring and grand-offspring mice. Further, we hypothesized that altered adipose gene expression and DNA methylation in genes important to adipocyte differentiation would be affected.

Materials and Methods
Pregnant dams were exposed to a nebulized PAH mixture versus negative control aerosol 5 days a week, for 3 weeks. Body weight was recorded from postnatal day (PND) 21 through PND60. Body composition, adipose cell size, gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBP) α, cyclooxygenase (Cox)-2, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and adiponectin, and DNA methylation of PPAR γ, were assayed in both the offspring and grand-offspring adipose tissue.

Findings
Offspring of dams exposed to greater PAH during gestation had increased weight, fat mass, as well as higher gene expression of PPAR γ, C/EBP α, Cox2, FAS and adiponectin and lower DNA methylation of PPAR γ. Similar differences in phenotype and DNA methylation extended through the grand-offspring mice.

Conclusions
Greater prenatal PAH exposure was associated with increased weight, fat mass, adipose gene expression and epigenetic changes in progeny.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Medicine
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Psychology
Pediatrics
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Published Here
May 19, 2016
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