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Exposure to aflatoxin B1in uterois associated with DNA methylation in white blood cells of infants in The Gambia

Exposure to aflatoxin B1in uterois associated with DNA methylation in white blood cells of infants in The Gambia

Hernandez-Vargas, Hector, Castelino, Jovita, Silver, Matt J, Dominguez Salas, Paula ORCID: 0000-0001-8753-4221, Cros, Marie-Pierre, Durand, Geoffroy, Calvez-Kelm, Florence Le, Prentice, Andrew M, Wild, Christopher P, Moore, Sophie E, Hennig, Branwen J, Herceg, Zdenko, Gong, Yun Yun and Routledge, Michael N (2015) Exposure to aflatoxin B1in uterois associated with DNA methylation in white blood cells of infants in The Gambia. International Journal of Epidemiology, 44 (4). pp. 1238-1248. ISSN 0300-5771 (Print), 1464-3685 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyv027)

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Abstract

Background
Exposure to environmental toxins during embryonic development may lead to epigenetic changes that influence disease risk in later life. Aflatoxin is a contaminant of staple foods in sub-Saharan Africa, is a known human liver carcinogen and has been associated with stunting in infants.
Methods
We have measured aflatoxin exposure in 115 pregnant women in The Gambia and examined the DNA methylation status of white blood cells from their infants at 2-8 months old (mean 3.6 ± 0.9). Aflatoxin exposure in women was assessed using an ELISA method to measure aflatoxin albumin (AF-alb) adducts in plasma taken at 1-16 weeks of pregnancy. Genome-wide DNA methylation of infant white blood cells was measured using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450beadchip.
Results
AF-alb levels ranged from 3.9 to 458.4 pg/mg albumin. We found that aflatoxin exposure in the mothers was associated to DNA methylation in their infants for 71 CpG sites (false discovery rate < 0.05), with an average effect size of 1.7% change in methylation. Aflatoxin-associated differential methylation was observed in growth factor genes such as FGF12 and IGF1, and immune-related genes such as CCL28, TLR2 and TGFBI. Moreover, one aflatoxin-associated methylation region (corresponding to the miR-4520b locus) was identified.
Conclusions
This study shows that maternal exposure to aflatoxin during the early stages of pregnancy is associated with differential DNA methylation patterns of infants, including in genes related to growth and immune function. This reinforces the need for interventions to reduce aflatoxin exposure, especially during critical periods of fetal and infant development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gambia, nutrition, epigenetics, aflatoxin, DNA methylation, in utero exposure
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Faculty / School / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > FaNSI - Food Systems for Improved Nutrition
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 09:30
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/33789

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