• A Low Glycaemic Index Diet in Pregnancy Induces DNA Methylation Variation in Blood of Newborns: Results from the ROLO Randomised Controlled Trial.

      Geraghty, Aisling A; Sexton-Oates, Alexandra; O'Brien, Eileen C; Alberdi, Goiuri; Fransquet, Peter; Saffery, Richard; McAuliffe, Fionnuala M; National Maternity Hospital Holles Street Dublin, University College Dublin, Cancer and Disease Epigenetics, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Aus, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Aus (MDPI, 2018-04-06)
      The epigenetic profile of the developing fetus is sensitive to environmental influence. Maternal diet has been shown to influence DNA methylation patterns in offspring, but research in humans is limited. We investigated the impact of a low glycaemic index dietary intervention during pregnancy on offspring DNA methylation patterns using a genome-wide methylation approach. Sixty neonates were selected from the ROLO (Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet to prevent macrosomia) study: 30 neonates from the low glycaemic index intervention arm and 30 from the control, whose mothers received no specific dietary advice. DNA methylation was investigated in 771,484 CpG sites in free DNA from cord blood serum. Principal component analysis and linear regression were carried out comparing the intervention and control groups. Gene clustering and pathway analysis were also explored. Widespread variation was identified in the newborns exposed to the dietary intervention, accounting for 11% of the total level of DNA methylation variation within the dataset. No association was found with maternal early-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), infant sex, or birthweight. Pathway analysis identified common influences of the intervention on gene clusters plausibly linked to pathways targeted by the intervention, including cardiac and immune functioning. Analysis in 60 additional samples from the ROLO study failed to replicate the original findings. Using a modest-sized discovery sample, we identified preliminary evidence of differential methylation in progeny of mothers exposed to a dietary intervention during pregnancy.