Supplementation of micronutrients involved in DNA methylation, particularly during pregnancy, is recommended because of its impacts on human health, but further evidence is needed regarding the effects of over-supplementation and differences between sexes. Here, a porcine model was used to assess effects of maternal supplementation with one-carbon-cycle compounds during prenatal and postnatal stages on offspring muscle development. Sows received either a standard diet (CON) or a standard diet supplemented with folate, B6, B12, methionine, choline, and zinc (MET) throughout gestation. Myogenesis-, growth-, and nutrient utilization-related transcript expression was assessed using quantitative PCR. Organismal phenotype and gene expression effects differed significantly between males and females. Male MET-offspring showed increased fetal weight during late pregnancy but decreased live weight postnatally, with compensatory transcriptional responses comprising myogenic key drivers (Pax7
). In contrast, female weights were unaffected by diet, and mRNA abundances corresponded to a phenotype of cellular reorganization via FABP3
and Insulin-like Growth Factor-signaling. These findings in an animal model suggest that supplementation during pregnancy with methylation-related micronutrients can promote sex-specific myogenic maturation processes related to organismal growth and muscle metabolism. The usage of maternal dietary supplements should be more carefully considered regarding its ability to promote fetal and postnatal health.
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