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Protein Content and Methyl Donors in Maternal Diet Interact to Influence the Proliferation Rate and Cell Fate of Neural Stem Cells in Rat Hippocampus

Abstract : Maternal diet during pregnancy and early postnatal life influences the setting up of normal physiological functions in the offspring. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate cell differentiation during embryonic development and may mediate gene/environment interactions. We showed here that high methyl donors associated with normal protein content in maternal diet increased the in vitro proliferation rate of neural stem/progenitor cells isolated from rat E19 fetuses. Gene expression on whole hippocampi at weaning confirmed this effect as evidenced by the higher expression of the Nestin and Igf2 genes, suggesting a higher amount of undifferentiated precursor cells. Additionally, protein restriction reduced the expression of the insulin receptor gene, which is essential to the action of IGFII. Inhibition of DNA methylation in neural stem/progenitor cells in vitro increased the expression of the astrocyte-specific Gfap gene and decreased the expression of the neuron-specific Dcx gene, suggesting an impact on cell differentiation. Our data suggest a complex interaction between methyl donors and protein content in maternal diet that influence the expression of major growth factors and their receptors and therefore impact the proliferation and differentiation capacities of neural stem cells, either through external hormone signals or internal genomic regulation.
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Valérie Amarger, Angèle Lecouillard, Laure Ancellet, Isabelle Grit, Blandine Castellano, et al.. Protein Content and Methyl Donors in Maternal Diet Interact to Influence the Proliferation Rate and Cell Fate of Neural Stem Cells in Rat Hippocampus. Nutrients, MDPI, 2014, 6 (10), pp.4200-4217. ⟨10.3390/nu6104200⟩. ⟨hal-02631536⟩

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