Endocrine Abstracts (2018) 56 GP163 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.56.GP163

Global DNA methylation since early infancy to adulthood in the offspring of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Teresa Sir-Petermann1, Bárbara Echiburú1, Manuel Maliqueo1, Francisco Pérez-Bravo2, Nicolás Crisosto1, Cristian Flores1, Daniel Sandoval3 & Sergio E Recabarren3


1Endocrinology and Metabolism Laboratory, West Division, School of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 2Laboratory of Nutritional Genomics, Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 3Laboratory of Animal Physiology and Endocrinology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Concepcion, Chillán, Chile.


DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism of gene regulation that can be modified during intrauterine and postnatal life. Pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) present elevated androgen and insulin levels, which can affect the DNA methylation pattern of their offspring. Then, we studied the global DNA methylation pattern (GDNAm) in daughters and sons born to PCOS women compared to controls. Daughters (99 born to PCOS and 87 born to control women) and sons (74 born to PCOS and 93 born to control women) were studied at early infancy (2–3 months), puberty (7–17 years) and adulthood (18–35 years). In all of them, a clinical-anthropometric examination was performed and a blood sample was obtained for DNA isolation from peripheral leukocytes. The absolute percentage (%) of GDNAm was quantified using a colorimetric kit (Epigentek). PCOS and control sons showed a different methylation pattern from early infancy to adulthood. Interestingly, sons born to PCOS mothers presented lower GDNAm compared to controls in early infancy (3.0% vs 7.4%, P=0.043) and at the beginning of sexual maturation (2.9% vs 7.1%, P=0.010). In daughters, there were no differences in the GDNAm pattern from early infancy to adulthood between both groups. Our data indicate that sons seem to be more susceptible than daughters to changes of the GDNAm, mainly in periods of activation of the gonadal axis, such as early infancy and the beginning of puberty.

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