Maternal diabetes impairs methylation of imprinted gene in oocytes

March 20, 2013, Society for the Study of Reproduction

For the first time, researchers have shown that poorly controlled maternal diabetes has an adverse effect on methylation of the maternal imprinting gene Peg3, contributing to impaired development in offspring.

Previous studies have revealed that offspring of diabetic mothers display a higher incidence of malformations and fetal death, even when a one-cell embryo is transplanted from a diabetic to a non-diabetic mother. Diabetic mothers' oocytes tend to exhibit reduced , compromised communication between and oocytes, mitochondrial malfunction, and a decreased ovulation rate, all of which can be traced back to reduced gene expression in the embryos.

Qing-Yuan Sun and Zhao-Jia Ge of the hypothesized that the reduced gene expression results from disturbed DNA re-methylation during oogenesis and oocyte maturation. The team bred and examined three different mouse populations: one with spontaneously occurring diabetes, one with diabetes induced by STZ injection, and one without diabetes. After mating on Day 15, the diabetic mice presented with reduced (approx. 74% vs. 100% in non-diabetic mice) and increased embryo death rates (approx. 16% vs. 0%), consistent with previous reports.

Focusing on the methylation patterns of one paternally methylated gene (H19) and two maternally methylated genes (Peg3 and Snrpn), the team found that none showed impaired methylation until 35 days after STZ injection; however, and number of offspring were already affected on Day 15. On Day 35, methylation of Peg3 was significantly decreased, with an unmethylated oocyte rate nearly 22% higher in both types of compared to controls. H19 remained unaffected and effects on Snrpn were not significant.

As for the female offspring of diabetic mothers, their oocytes did not appear to have any methylation abnormalities; however, due to the difficulty of producing offspring conceived after Day 15, it will be extremely difficult to determine whether those females are similarly unaffected.

Explore further: Progressive exercise training may benefit diabetic neuropathy

More information: Ge ZJ, Liang XW, Guo L, Liang QX, Luo SM, Wang YP, Wei YC, Han ZM, Schatten H, Suna QY. Maternal diabetes causes alterations of DNA methylation statuses of some imprinted genes in murine oocytes. Biol Reprod 2013; (in press). Published online ahead of print, March 2013; DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.112.105981

Related Stories

Progressive exercise training may benefit diabetic neuropathy

February 12, 2013
(HealthDay)—In a rat model of diabetes, exercise is associated with decreased diabetes-associated neuropathic pain, which correlates with increased expression of heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72), according to a study published ...

Maternal glycemic status linked to epigenetic changes

March 9, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Maternal glycemic status and adiponectin levels are linked to epigenetic changes in the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ), according to a study published online March 6 in Diabetes.

Researchers replicate human kidney gene changes in mouse model

May 23, 2011
University of Louisville researchers have replicated the inflammatory gene changes of a human kidney as it progresses from mild to severe diabetic nephropathy, using a mouse model developed by a UofL researcher, according ...

Oxygen treatment beneficial in diabetes-prone mice

May 8, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Hyperbaric oxygen treatment of a preclinical diabetes mouse model reduces the incidence of diabetes and preserves insulin-producing β-cells, according to a study published online May 7 in Diabetes.

Smoking causes asthma in second generation offspring

October 30, 2012
The dangers of smoking on smokers and their children are widely known but new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine demonstrates that nicotine exposure also causes asthma in the smoker's ...

Study finds possible link between diabetes and increased risk of heart attack death

February 15, 2013
Having diabetes doubles a person's risk of dying after a heart attack, but the reason for the increased risk is not clear. A new University of Iowa study suggests the link may lie in the over-activation of an important heart ...

Recommended for you

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

Big strides made in diabetes care

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—This past year was a busy, productive one for diabetes research and care.

Gene therapy restores normal blood glucose levels in mice with type 1 diabetes

January 4, 2018
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in high blood levels of glucose. A study published January 4th in Cell Stem Cell ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.