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The epigenetic hallmark of early-life α-hexabromocyclododecane exposure: From cerebellar 6-mA levels to locomotor performance in adulthood

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There is a growing evidence that methylation at the N6 position of adenine (6-mA), whose modulation occurs primarily during development, would be a reliable epigenetic marker in eukaryotic organisms. The present study raises the question as to whether early-life exposure to α-hexabromocyclododecane (α-HBCDD), a brominated flame retardant, may trigger modifications in 6-mA epigenetic hallmarks in the brain during the development which, in turn could affect the offspring behaviour in adulthood. Pregnant Wistar rats were split into two groups: control and α-HBCDD (66 ng/kg/per os, G0-PND14). At PND1, α-HBCDD levels were assessed in brain and liver by LC-MS/MS. At PND14, DNA was isolated from the offspring's cerebellum. DNA methylation was measured by 6-mA-specific immunoprecipitation and Illumina® sequencing (MEDIP-Seq). Locomotor activity was finally evaluated at PND120. In our early-life exposure model, we confirmed that α-HBCDD can cross the placental barrier and be detected in pups at birth. An obvious post-exposure phenotype with locomotor deficits was observed when the rats reached adulthood. This was accompanied by sex-specific over-methylation of genes involved in the insulin signaling pathway, MAPK signaling pathway as well as serotonergic and GABAergic synapses, potentially altering the normal process of neurodevelopment with consequent motor impairments crystalized at adulthood.
Tijdschrift: Environment International
ISSN: 0160-4120
Volume: 178
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Toegankelijkheid:Open