Background: The placenta plays a key role in regulating fatty acid (FA) transport from maternal to fetal circulation. An unfavourable FA profile in the placenta, reflecting an inadequate nutritional status during pregnancy, may cause changes in placental DNA methylation and negatively affect fetal growth and metabolic health of the offspring.
Objectives: We aimed to study the association of an unfavourable placental FA profile with placental DNA methylation of specific genes related to pre and postnatal growth and their correlation with metabolic parameters of the offspring at school age.
Methods: In a prenatal cohort of 81 pregnant-newborns pairs, placental FA profile was determined by gas liquid chromatography and DNA methylation of C19MC, ZNF331 y IGF2/H19 placental imprinted domains was determined by pyrosequencing. Newborns were followed up until school age (6 years) and metabolic (lipid profile, glucose, HbA1C, insulin resistance) and anthropometric (weight, BMI, body composition) parameters were assessed.
Results: An unfavourable FA profile [increased levels of saturated FA (SFA) and omega-6 and decreased levels of omega-3] was associated with hipomethylation of C19MC and hypermethylation of ZNF331 and IGF2/H19 genes (all P<0.05). Such unfavourable FA profile was also associated with increased visceral fat, total fat mass, glucose and HbA1C (all P<0.05) in the offspring at age 6 years and was a risk factor for increased visceral fat (odds ratio: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.25.9).
Conclusion: The placental FA profile associated with DNA methylation of specific genes related to pre and postnatal growth and metabolic parameters of the offspring at school age. Such FA profile may be used to identify those newborns at higher-risk to develop metabolic diseases later in life.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology