Glucocorticoid exposure during hippocampal neurogenesis primes future stress response by inducing changes in DNA methylation

Nadine Provençal, Janine Arloth, Annamaria Cattaneo, Christoph Anacker, Nadia Cattane, Tobias Wiechmann, Simone Röh, Maik Ködel, Torsten Klengel, Darina Czamara, Nikola S. Müller, Jari Lahti, Katri Räikkönen, Carmine M. Pariante, Elisabeth B. Binder

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Sammanfattning

Prenatal stress exposure is associated with a wide range of health problems later in life. This may be mediated in part via glucocorticoid (GC) exposure during fetal development known to impact neurogenesis and induce epigenetic changes. Using a human fetal hippocampal progenitor cell line to assess the effects of GCs, we observe that exposure to GCs early during neurogenesis results in lasting changes in DNA methylation (DNAm). Lasting DNAm alterations are associated with significantly enhanced transcriptional response to a subsequent GC exposure. Our data suggest that early exposure to GCs changes the set point of future transcriptional responses to stress by inducing lasting DNAm changes. Such altered set points may relate to differential vulnerability to stress exposure later in life.Prenatal stress exposure is associated with risk for psychiatric disorders later in life. This may be mediated in part via enhanced exposure to glucocorticoids (GCs), which are known to impact neurogenesis. We aimed to identify molecular mediators of these effects, focusing on long-lasting epigenetic changes. In a human hippocampal progenitor cell (HPC) line, we assessed the short- and long-term effects of GC exposure during neurogenesis on messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles. GC exposure induced changes in DNAm at 27,812 CpG dinucleotides and in the expression of 3,857 transcripts (false discovery rate [FDR] ≤ 0.1 and absolute fold change [FC] expression ≥ 1.15). HPC expression and GC-affected DNAm profiles were enriched for changes observed during human fetal brain development. Differentially methylated sites (DMSs) with GC exposure clustered into 4 trajectories over HPC differentiation, with transient as well as long-lasting DNAm changes. Lasting DMSs mapped to distinct functional pathways and were selectively enriched for poised and bivalent enhancer marks. Lasting DMSs had little correlation with lasting expression changes but were associated with a significantly enhanced transcriptional response to a second acute GC challenge. A significant subset of lasting DMSs was also responsive to an acute GC challenge in peripheral blood. These tissue-overlapping DMSs were used to compute a polyepigenetic score that predicted exposure to conditions associated with altered prenatal GCs in newborn’s cord blood DNA. Overall, our data suggest that early exposure to GCs can change the set point of future transcriptional responses to stress by inducing lasting DNAm changes. Such altered set points may relate to differential vulnerability to stress exposure later in life.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
ISSN0027-8424
DOI
Status!!E-pub ahead of print - 9 aug 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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  • 3124 Neurologi och psykiatri

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