Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Patterns of Bovine Blastocysts Developed In Vivo from Embryos Completed Different Stages of Development In Vitro.PLoS One. 2015; 10(11):e0140467.Plos
Early embryonic loss and altered gene expression in in vitro produced blastocysts are believed to be partly caused by aberrant DNA methylation. However, specific embryonic stage which is sensitive to in vitro culture conditions to alter the DNA methylation profile of the resulting blastocysts remained unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the stage specific effect of in vitro culture environment on the DNA methylation response of the resulting blastocysts. For this, embryos cultured in vitro until zygote (ZY), 4-cell (4C) or 16-cell (16C) were transferred to recipients and the blastocysts were recovery at day 7 of the estrous cycle. Another embryo group was cultured in vitro until blastocyst stage (IVP). Genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of ZY, 4C, 16C and IVP blastocyst groups were then determined with reference to blastocysts developed completely under in vivo condition (VO) using EmbryoGENE DNA Methylation Array. To assess the contribution of methylation changes on gene expression patterns, the DNA methylation data was superimposed to the transcriptome profile data. The degree of DNA methylation dysregulation in the promoter and/or gene body regions of the resulting blastocysts was correlated with successive stages of development the embryos advanced under in vitro culture before transfer to the in vivo condition. Genomic enrichment analysis revealed that in 4C and 16C blastocyst groups, hypermethylated loci were outpacing the hypomethylated ones in intronic, exonic, promoter and proximal promoter regions, whereas the reverse was observed in ZY blastocyst group. However, in the IVP group, as much hypermethylated as hypomethylated probes were detected in gene body and promoter regions. In addition, gene ontology analysis indicated that differentially methylated regions were found to affected several biological functions including ATP binding in the ZY group, programmed cell death in the 4C, glycolysis in 16C and genetic imprinting and chromosome segregation in IVP blastocyst groups. Furthermore, 1.6, 3.4, 3.9 and 9.4% of the differentially methylated regions that were overlapped to the transcriptome profile data were negatively correlated with the gene expression patterns in ZY, 4C, 16C and IVP blastocyst groups, respectively. Therefore, this finding indicated that suboptimal culture condition during preimplantation embryo development induced changes in the DNA methylation landscape of the resulting blastocysts in a stage dependent manner and the altered DNA methylation pattern was only partly explained the observed aberrant gene expression patterns of the blastocysts.