Epigenetic modifications appear in the human placenta following anxiety and depression during pregnancy.

Martinez CA, Marteinsdottir I, Josefsson A, Sydsjö G, Theodorsson E, Rodriguez-Martinez H

Placenta 140 (-) 72-79 [2023-09-07; online 2023-08-01]

The future health of the offspring can be influenced by longstanding maternal anxiety and depression disorders during pregnancy. The present study aimed to explore the effect of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy on placental epigenetics. We measured DNA methylation patterns in term-placentas of women either suffering longstanding anxiety and depression symptoms (Index group, with overt symptoms), or a healthy population (Control, none/only mild symptoms). Whole genome DNA methylation profiling was performed using the TruSeq® Methyl Capture EPIC Library Prep Kit (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA) for library preparation and NGS technology for genomic DNA sequencing. The results of high-throughput DNA methylation analysis revealed that the Index group had differential DNA methylation at epigenome-wide significance (p < 0.05) in 226 genes in the placenta. Targeted enrichment analyses identified hypermethylation of genes associated with psychiatric disorders (BRINP1, PUM1), and ion homeostasis (COMMD1), among others. The ECM (extracellular matrix)-receptor interaction pathway was significantly dysregulated in the Index group compared to the Control. In addition, DNA methylation/mRNA integration analyses revealed that four genes with key roles in neurodevelopment and other important processes (EPB41L4B, BMPR2, KLHL18, and UBAP2) were dysregulated at both, DNA methylation and transcriptome levels in the Index group compared to Control. The presented results increase our understanding of how maternal psychiatric disorders may affect the newborn through placental differential epigenome, suggesting DNA methylation status as a biomarker when aiming to design new preventive techniques and interventions.

Clinical Genomics Linköping [Service]

PubMed 37549439

DOI 10.1016/j.placenta.2023.07.298

Crossref 10.1016/j.placenta.2023.07.298

pii: S0143-4004(23)00455-1

Publications 9.5.0