Effects of endocrine disruptors on imprinted gene expression in the mouse embryo

Academic Article


  • Environmental endocrine disruptors (EDs) are synthetic chemicals that resemble natural hormones and are known to cause epigenetic perturbations. EDs have profound effects on development and fertility. Imprinted genes had been identified as candidate susceptibility loci to environmental insults because they are functionally haploid, and because the imprints undergo epigenetic resetting between generations. To screen for possible epigenetic perturbations caused by EDs at imprinted loci, we treated pregnant mice daily between 8.5 and 12.5 days post coitum (dpc) with di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP), bisphenol A (BPA), vinclozolin (VZ) or control oil vehicle. After isolating RNA from the placenta, yolk sac, amnion, head, body, heart, liver, lung, stomach and intestines of 13.5 dpc embryos we measured the allele-specific expression of 39 imprinted transcripts using multiplex single nucleotide primer extension (SNuPE) assays. In this representative data set we identified only a small number of transcripts that exhibited a substantial relaxation of imprinted expression with statistical significance: Slc22a18 with 10% relaxation in the embryo after BPA treatment; Rtl1as with 11 and 16% relaxation in the lung and placenta, respectively after BPA treatment; and Rtl1 with 12% relaxation in the yolk sac after DEHP treatment. Additionally, the standard deviation of allele-specificity increased in various organs after ED treatment for several transcripts including Igf2r, Rasgrf1, Usp29, Slc38a4 and Xist. Our data suggest that the maintenance of strongly biased monoallelic expression of imprinted genes is generally insensitive to EDs in the 13.5 dpc embryo andextra-embryonic organs, but is not immune to those effects. ¬© 2011 Landes Bioscience.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Epigenetics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kang ER; Iqbal K; Tran DA; Rivas GE; Singh P; Pfeifer GP; Szab√≥ PE
  • Start Page

  • 937
  • End Page

  • 950
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 7