Next Article in Journal
NAD+ Metabolism and Diseases with Motor Dysfunction
Next Article in Special Issue
Diagnostic Yield and Economic Implications of Whole-Exome Sequencing for ASD Diagnosis in Israel
Previous Article in Journal
Leaf Size Development Differences and Comparative Transcriptome Analyses of Two Poplar Genotypes
Previous Article in Special Issue
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Analysis of Mobile Elements at 7q11.23 Williams–Beuren Region by Comparative Genomics
Article

Prenatal Adversity Alters the Epigenetic Profile of the Prefrontal Cortex: Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Food-Related Stress

1
Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3
Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
4
Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
6
Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4S6, Canada
7
BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada
8
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada
9
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada
10
Program in Child and Brain Development, CIFAR, MaRS Centre, West Tower, 661 University Ave., Suite 505, Toronto, ON M5G 1M1, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: M. E. Suzanne Lewis and Maria Chahrour
Genes 2021, 12(11), 1773; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111773
Received: 8 October 2021 / Revised: 28 October 2021 / Accepted: 6 November 2021 / Published: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Phenotypic Subtypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Prenatal adversity or stress can have long-term consequences on developmental trajectories and health outcomes. Although the biological mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood, epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, have the potential to link early-life environments to alterations in physiological systems, with long-term functional implications. We investigated the consequences of two prenatal insults, prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and food-related stress, on DNA methylation profiles of the rat brain during early development. As these insults can have sex-specific effects on biological outcomes, we analyzed epigenome-wide DNA methylation patterns in prefrontal cortex, a key brain region involved in cognition, executive function, and behavior, of both males and females. We found sex-dependent and sex-concordant influences of these insults on epigenetic patterns. These alterations occurred in genes and pathways related to brain development and immune function, suggesting that PAE and food-related stress may reprogram neurobiological/physiological systems partly through central epigenetic changes, and may do so in a sex-dependent manner. Such epigenetic changes may reflect the sex-specific effects of prenatal insults on long-term functional and health outcomes and have important implications for understanding possible mechanisms underlying fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: fetal alcohol spectrum disorder; DNA methylation; sex differences; autism; development; brain; prefrontal cortex; epigenetics fetal alcohol spectrum disorder; DNA methylation; sex differences; autism; development; brain; prefrontal cortex; epigenetics
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Lussier, A.A.; Bodnar, T.S.; Moksa, M.; Hirst, M.; Kobor, M.S.; Weinberg, J. Prenatal Adversity Alters the Epigenetic Profile of the Prefrontal Cortex: Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Food-Related Stress. Genes 2021, 12, 1773. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111773

AMA Style

Lussier AA, Bodnar TS, Moksa M, Hirst M, Kobor MS, Weinberg J. Prenatal Adversity Alters the Epigenetic Profile of the Prefrontal Cortex: Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Food-Related Stress. Genes. 2021; 12(11):1773. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111773

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lussier, Alexandre A., Tamara S. Bodnar, Michelle Moksa, Martin Hirst, Michael S. Kobor, and Joanne Weinberg. 2021. "Prenatal Adversity Alters the Epigenetic Profile of the Prefrontal Cortex: Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Food-Related Stress" Genes 12, no. 11: 1773. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111773

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop