Dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acid during pregnancy modulates DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 imprinted genes and growth of infants.

Physiological genomics

PubMedID: 25293351

Lee HS, Barraza-Villarreal A, Biessy C, Duarte-Salles T, Sly PD, Ramakrishnan U, Rivera J, Herceg Z, Romieu I. Dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acid during pregnancy modulates DNA methylation at IGF2/H19 imprinted genes and growth of infants. Physiol Genomics. 2014;.
Epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes is regarded as a highly plausible explanation for linking dietary exposures in early life with the onset of diseases during childhood and adulthood. We sought to test whether prenatal dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during pregnancy may modulate epigenetic states at birth. This study was based on a randomized intervention trial conducted in Mexican pregnant women supplemented daily with 400 mg of DHA or a placebo from gestation week 18-22 to parturition. We applied quantitative profiling of DNA methylation states at IGF2 promoter 3 (IGF2 P3), IGF2 differentially methylated region (DMR), and H19 DMR in cord blood mononuclear cells of the DHA-supplemented group (n=131) and the control group (n=130). In stratified analyses, DNA methylation levels in IGF2 P3 were significantly higher in the DHA group than the control group in preterm infants (p=0.04). We also observed a positive association between DNA methylation levels and maternal body mass index (BMI); IGF2 DMR methylation was higher in the DHA group than the control group in infants of overweight mothers (p=0.03). In addition, at H19 DMR, methylation levels were significantly lower in the DHA group than the control group in infants of normal weight mothers (p=0.01). Finally, methylation levels at IGF2/H19 imprinted regions were associated with maternal BMI. These findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may be modulated by DHA, with potential impacts on child growth and development.