Publications by authors named "Samantha Forestier"

2 Publications

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Exposure to sevoflurane results in changes of transcription factor occupancy in sperm and inheritance of autism.

Biol Reprod 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, 615 Michael St, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

One in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). De novo germline and somatic mutations cannot account for all cases of ASD, suggesting that epigenetic alterations triggered by environmental exposures may be responsible for a subset of ASD cases. Human and animal studies have shown that exposure of the developing brain to general anesthetic (GA) agents can trigger neurodegeneration and neurobehavioral abnormalities but the effects of general anesthetics on the germ line have not been explored in detail. We exposed pregnant mice to sevoflurane during the time of embryonic development when the germ cells undergo epigenetic reprogramming and found that more than 38% of the directly exposed F1 animals exhibit impairments in anxiety and social interactions. Strikingly, 44-47% of the F2 and F3 animals, which were not directly exposed to sevoflurane, show the same behavioral problems. We performed ATAC-seq and identified more than 1200 differentially accessible sites in the sperm of F1 animals, 69 of which are also present in the sperm of F2 animals. These sites are located in regulatory regions of genes strongly associated with ASD, including Arid1b, Ntrk2, and Stmn2. These findings suggest that epimutations caused by exposing germ cells to sevoflurane can lead to ASD in the offspring, and this effect can be transmitted through the male germline inter and trans-generationally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioab097DOI Listing
May 2021

Hemimethylation of CpG dyads is characteristic of secondary DMRs associated with imprinted loci and correlates with 5-hydroxymethylcytosine at paternally methylated sequences.

Epigenetics Chromatin 2019 10 17;12(1):64. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Department of Biology, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA, 19010-2899, USA.

Background: In mammals, the regulation of imprinted genes is controlled by differential methylation at imprinting control regions which acquire parent of origin-specific methylation patterns during gametogenesis and retain differences in allelic methylation status throughout fertilization and subsequent somatic cell divisions. In addition, many imprinted genes acquire differential methylation during post-implantation development; these secondary differentially methylated regions appear necessary to maintain the imprinted expression state of individual genes. Despite the requirement for both types of differentially methylated sequence elements to achieve proper expression across imprinting clusters, methylation patterns are more labile at secondary differentially methylated regions. To understand the nature of this variability, we analyzed CpG dyad methylation patterns at both paternally and maternally methylated imprinted loci within multiple imprinting clusters.

Results: We determined that both paternally and maternally methylated secondary differentially methylated regions associated with imprinted genes display high levels of hemimethylation, 29-49%, in comparison to imprinting control regions which exhibited 8-12% hemimethylation. To explore how hemimethylation could arise, we assessed the differentially methylated regions for the presence of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine which could cause methylation to be lost via either passive and/or active demethylation mechanisms. We found enrichment of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine at paternally methylated secondary differentially methylated regions, but not at the maternally methylated sites we analyzed in this study.

Conclusions: We found high levels of hemimethylation to be a generalizable characteristic of secondary differentially methylated regions associated with imprinted genes. We propose that 5-hydroxymethylcytosine enrichment may be responsible for the variability in methylation status at paternally methylated secondary differentially methylated regions associated with imprinted genes. We further suggest that the high incidence of hemimethylation at secondary differentially methylated regions must be counteracted by continuous methylation acquisition at these loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13072-019-0309-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6796366PMC
October 2019
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