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A Low Glycaemic Index Diet in Pregnancy Induces DNA Methylation Variation in Blood of Newborns: Results from the ROLO Randomised Controlled Trial

1
UCD Perinatal Research Centre, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medicine, University College Dublin, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin 2, Ireland
2
Cancer and Disease Epigenetics, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia
3
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Joint senior authorship.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040455
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
The epigenetic profile of the developing fetus is sensitive to environmental influence. Maternal diet has been shown to influence DNA methylation patterns in offspring, but research in humans is limited. We investigated the impact of a low glycaemic index dietary intervention during pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation patterns using a genome-wide methylation approach. Sixty neonates were selected from the ROLO (Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet to prevent macrosomia) study: 30 neonates from the low glycaemic index intervention arm and 30 from the control, whose mothers received no specific dietary advice. DNA methylation was investigated in 771,484 CpG sites in free DNA from cord blood serum. Principal component analysis and linear regression were carried out comparing the intervention and control groups. Gene clustering and pathway analysis were also explored. Widespread variation was identified in the newborns exposed to the dietary intervention, accounting for 11% of the total level of DNA methylation variation within the dataset. No association was found with maternal early-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), infant sex, or birthweight. Pathway analysis identified common influences of the intervention on gene clusters plausibly linked to pathways targeted by the intervention, including cardiac and immune functioning. Analysis in 60 additional samples from the ROLO study failed to replicate the original findings. Using a modest-sized discovery sample, we identified preliminary evidence of differential methylation in progeny of mothers exposed to a dietary intervention during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetics; DNA methylation; programming; methylome; fetus; pregnancy; intervention; diet; glycaemic index epigenetics; DNA methylation; programming; methylome; fetus; pregnancy; intervention; diet; glycaemic index
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Geraghty, A.A.; Sexton-Oates, A.; O’Brien, E.C.; Alberdi, G.; Fransquet, P.; Saffery, R.; McAuliffe, F.M. A Low Glycaemic Index Diet in Pregnancy Induces DNA Methylation Variation in Blood of Newborns: Results from the ROLO Randomised Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2018, 10, 455.

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