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Exposure of pregnant sows to low doses of estradiol-17beta impacts on the transcriptome of the endometrium and the female preimplantation embryos


Flöter, Veronika L; Bauersachs, Stefan; Fürst, Rainer W; Krebs, Stefan; Blum, Helmut; Reichenbach, Myriam; Ulbrich, Susanne E (2019). Exposure of pregnant sows to low doses of estradiol-17beta impacts on the transcriptome of the endometrium and the female preimplantation embryos. Biology of Reproduction, 100(3):624-640.

Abstract

Maternal exposure to estrogens can induce long-term adverse effects in the offspring. The epigenetic programming may start as early as the period of preimplantation development. We analyzed the effects of gestational estradiol-17β (E2) exposure on blastocysts with two distinct low doses, corresponding to the acceptable daily intake "ADI" and close to the no-observed-effect level "NOEL," and a high dose (0.05, 10 and 1000 μg E2/kg body weight daily, respectively). The E2 doses were orally applied to sows from insemination until sampling at day 10 of pregnancy and compared to carrier-treated controls leading to a significant increase in E2 in plasma, bile and selected somatic tissues including the endometrium in the high dose group. Conjugated and unconjugated E2 metabolites were as well elevated in the NOEL group. Although RNA-sequencing revealed a dose-dependent effect of 14, 17 and 27 differentially expressed genes (DEG) in the endometrium, single embryos were much more affected with 982 DEG in female blastocysts of the high dose group, while none were present in the corresponding male embryos. Moreover, the NOEL treatment caused 62 and 3 DEG in female and male embryos, respectively. Thus, we detected a perturbed sex-specific gene expression profile leading to a leveling of the transcriptome profiles of female and male embryos. The preimplantation period therefore demonstrates a vulnerable time window for estrogen exposure, potentially constituting the cause for lasting consequences. The molecular fingerprint of low-dose estrogen exposure on developing embryos warrants a careful revisit of effect level thresholds.

Abstract

Maternal exposure to estrogens can induce long-term adverse effects in the offspring. The epigenetic programming may start as early as the period of preimplantation development. We analyzed the effects of gestational estradiol-17β (E2) exposure on blastocysts with two distinct low doses, corresponding to the acceptable daily intake "ADI" and close to the no-observed-effect level "NOEL," and a high dose (0.05, 10 and 1000 μg E2/kg body weight daily, respectively). The E2 doses were orally applied to sows from insemination until sampling at day 10 of pregnancy and compared to carrier-treated controls leading to a significant increase in E2 in plasma, bile and selected somatic tissues including the endometrium in the high dose group. Conjugated and unconjugated E2 metabolites were as well elevated in the NOEL group. Although RNA-sequencing revealed a dose-dependent effect of 14, 17 and 27 differentially expressed genes (DEG) in the endometrium, single embryos were much more affected with 982 DEG in female blastocysts of the high dose group, while none were present in the corresponding male embryos. Moreover, the NOEL treatment caused 62 and 3 DEG in female and male embryos, respectively. Thus, we detected a perturbed sex-specific gene expression profile leading to a leveling of the transcriptome profiles of female and male embryos. The preimplantation period therefore demonstrates a vulnerable time window for estrogen exposure, potentially constituting the cause for lasting consequences. The molecular fingerprint of low-dose estrogen exposure on developing embryos warrants a careful revisit of effect level thresholds.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cell Biology, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 March 2019
Deposited On:05 Nov 2018 17:24
Last Modified:29 Mar 2019 02:01
Publisher:Society for the Study of Reproduction
ISSN:0006-3363
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioy206
PubMed ID:30260370

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