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Culture Medium and Sex Drive Epigenetic Reprogramming in Preimplantation Bovine Embryos.

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Canovas, Sebastian 
Ivanova, Elena 
Hamdi, Meriem 
Perez-Sanz, Fernando  ORCID logo


Assisted reproductive technologies impact transcriptome and epigenome of embryos and can result in long-term phenotypic consequences. Whole-genome DNA methylation profiles from individual bovine blastocysts in vivo- and in vitro-derived (using three sources of protein: reproductive fluids, blood serum and bovine serum albumin) were generated. The impact of in vitro culture on DNA methylation was analyzed, and sex-specific methylation differences at blastocyst stage were uncovered. In vivo embryos showed the highest levels of methylation (29.5%), close to those produced in vitro with serum, whilst embryos produced in vitro with reproductive fluids or albumin showed less global methylation (25-25.4%). During repetitive element analysis, the serum group was the most affected. DNA methylation differences between in vivo and in vitro groups were more frequent in the first intron than in CpGi in promoters. Moreover, hierarchical cluster analysis showed that sex produced a stronger bias in the results than embryo origin. For each group, distance between male and female embryos varied, with in vivo blastocyst showing a lesser distance. Between the sexually dimorphic methylated tiles, which were biased to X-chromosome, critical factors for reproduction, developmental process, cell proliferation and DNA methylation machinery were included. These results support the idea that blastocysts show sexually-dimorphic DNA methylation patterns, and the known picture about the blastocyst methylome should be reconsidered.



DNA methylation, bovine, embryo, epigenetic, preimplantation, sexual dimorphism, Animals, Blastocyst, Cattle, Cellular Reprogramming, Chromosomes, Mammalian, CpG Islands, Culture Media, DNA Methylation, Epigenesis, Genetic, Female, Fertilization in Vitro, Gene Ontology, Logistic Models, Male, Molecular Sequence Annotation, Principal Component Analysis, Sex Characteristics

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Int J Mol Sci

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