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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

DNA methylation pattern of bovine blastocysts associated with hyperinsulinemia in vitro

Laskowski, Denise; Humblot, Patrice; Sirard, Marc-Andre; Sjunnesson, Ylva; Jhamat, Naveed; Bage, Renee; Andersson, Goran


Insulin functions as a regulator of metabolism and plays an important role in reproduction. Hyperinsulinemia is often observed in patients with obesity and diabetes type 2 and is known to impair fertility, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are only partly understood. Metabolic programming through epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation during embryonic development can lead to health implications for the offspring later in life. Our aim was to study the potential effect of hyperinsulinemia on gene expression and DNA methylation of embryos by adding insulin (0.1 mu g/ml=INS0.1 or 10 mu g/ml=INS10) during in vitro oocyte maturation by using the EmbryoGENE DNA methylation array for a study of the bovine epigenome. Our results showed significant differences between blastocysts originating from insulin-treated oocytes compared with untreated control blastocysts. In total, 13,658 and 12,418 probes were differentially methylated (DM) in INS0.1 and INS10, respectively, with an overlap of 3,233 probes in the DM regions (DMR) for both insulin groups. Genes related to pathways such as lipid metabolism, growth and proliferation, mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress responses were influenced at both the epigenetic and transcriptomic levels. In addition, imprinted genes and genes with functions in the epigenetic machinery were among the DMRs. This study identified DMRs correlated to differential expression of genes involved in metabolic regulation and should help to improve our knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms of metabolic imbalance.


diabetes type 2; hyperinsulinemia; metabolic imbalance; metabolic programming; oocyte maturation

Published in

Molecular Reproduction and Development
2018, Volume: 85, number: 7, pages: 599-611
Publisher: WILEY