Dysregulation of TET enzymes contributes to transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mice.

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Multi and transgenerational epigenetic effects of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in liver

Yi Wen  1 Saniya Rattan  2 Jodi A Flaws  2 Joseph Irudayaraj  3

Abstract

Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a ubiquitous industrial pollutant, is a known endocrine disrupter implicated in metabolic diseases. Prenatal DEHP exposure promotes epigenetic multi- and transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease in subsequent generations (F1-F3). However, the epigenetic toxicity is less understood in the liver. In this study, CD-1 mice were prenatally exposed to 20 μg/kg/day, 200 μg/kg/day, 500 mg/kg/day, or 750 mg/kg/day DEHP from gestational day (GD) 10.5 until birth of pups. Following prenatal exposure, the multigenerational and transgenerational effects of mRNA expression of epigenetic regulators were evaluated in F1, F2, and F3 generation mouse livers at postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 60. Results showed that DEHP exposed mice livers exhibited significant changes in global DNA methylation levels in all three generations, with the effect being different in F2 after high dosage exposure. Histopathology indicated that DEHP exposure could induce mild damage in F1 livers. The expression levels of DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) were significantly changed in both the F1 and F2 generations at PND 8, suggesting that maintenance Dnmt1 plays a major role in the multigenerational effect that occur in the early developmental stages. Additionally, DEHP exposure caused significant changes in ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine (Tet) dioxygenases encoding Tet1 expression in all three generations and Tet2 expression in F3 at PND 60, implicating their contributions in inducing both multi- and transgenerational effects after DEHP exposure in mouse liver. Overall, our results establish that prenatal and ancestral DEHP exposure are critical for epigenetic regulation of DNA methylation in female mouse livers.

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