Periconceptional undernutrition affects the levels of DNA methylation in the peri-implantation pig endometrium and in embryos

Theriogenology. 2019 Jan 1;123:185-193. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.10.002. Epub 2018 Oct 3.


Maternal undernutrition during the periconceptional period alters the transcriptomic profile of pig endometrium and embryos. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that restricted maternal consumption by females during the periconceptional period impairs the pattern of DNA methylation in both the endometrium and embryos during the peri-implantation period (Day 15-16 of gestation). Affected genes in restricted-diet-fed pig endometrium and embryos were identified using quantitative methylation-specific PCR and comprised those genes which are known to be important in reproductive, metabolic and epigenetic function, thereby exhibiting altered transcriptomic expression in endometrium and embryos of restricted-diet-fed gilts. Specifically, levels of DNA methylation of selected genes with altered expression in the endometrium included acid phosphatase type 2C (PPAP2C), salivary lipocalin (SAL1), endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB), regulator of G-protein signalling 12 (RGS12), type 4 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD17B4), toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), and adiponectin receptor 1 (ADIPOR1). In embryos, adiponectin receptor 2 (ADIPOR2), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2), arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase (ALOX12), progestin and adipoQ receptor family member 7 (PAQR7), progesterone receptor membrane component 2 (PGRMC2), steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR), and serpin family A member 1 (SERPINA1) were altered. Finally, 5 acid phosphatase tartrate resistant (ACP5), high mobility group box 2 (HMGB2), and DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) were altered in both the endometrium and in embryos. In the endometrium, the methylation levels of ACP5 (regulation of endometrial-conceptus iron transport), RGS12 (protein-coupled receptor signalling), and TLR3 (immune response) were increased, while that of EDNRB (corpus luteum maintenance) was decreased. In embryos, the methylation levels of ADIPOR2 (metabolic homeostasis) and DNMT1 (DNA methylation maintenance) were increased. The levels of methylation in other studied endometrial and embryonic genes were unchanged. DNA methylation levels in both the peri-implantation pig endometrium and embryos may be altered in response to female nutritional restriction.

Keywords: Early pregnancy; Embryo; Pig; Restricted diet.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Veterinary

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / physiology*
  • Embryo Implantation / physiology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / physiology
  • Endometrium / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation*
  • Swine / embryology*
  • Swine / physiology*