Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Differentially methylated regions identified in bovine embryos are not observed in adulthood

Luna Nascimento Vargas; Allice Rodrigues Ferreira Nochi; Paloma Soares de Castro; Andrielle Thainar Mendes Cunha; Thainara Christie Ferreira Silva; Roberto Coiti Togawa; Márcia Marques Silveira; Alexandre Rodrigues Caetano; Maurício Machaim Franco

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The establishment of epigenetic marks during the reprogramming window is susceptible to environmental influences, and stimuli during this critical stage can cause altered DNA methylation in offspring. In a previous study, we found that low levels of sulphur and cobalt (low S/Co) in the diet offered to oocyte donors altered the DNA methylome of bovine embryos. However, due to the extensive epigenetic reprogramming that occurs during embryogenesis, we hypothesized that the different methylation regions (DMRs) identified in the blastocysts may not maintain in adulthood. Here, we aimed to characterize DMRs previously identified in embryos, in the blood and sperm of adult progenies of two groups of heifers (low S/Co and control). We used six bulls and characterized the DNA methylation levels of KDM2A, KDM5A, KMT2D, and DOT1L genes. Our results showed that all DMRs analysed in both groups and tissues were hypermethylated unlike that noticed in the embryonic methylome profiles. These results suggest that embryo DMRs were reprogrammed during the final stages of de novo methylation during embryogenesis or later in development. Therefore, due to the highly dynamic epigenetic state during early embryonic development, we suggest that is essential to validate the DMRs found in embryos in adult individuals.


epigenetics, reprogramming, methylome, DMRs, cattle


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