February 20, 2017

Long-term consequences of disrupting adenosine signalling during embryonic development

S A Rivkees and C C Wendler, 2017, Long-term consequences of disrupting adenosine signalling during embryonic development, Molecular Aspects of Medicine, published online.

There is growing evidence that disruption in the prenatal environment can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s health in adulthood. Research on the fetal programming of adult diseases, including cardiovascular disease, focuses on epi-mutations, which alter the normal pattern of epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation, miRNA expression, or chromatin modification, rather than traditional genetic alteration. Thus, understanding how in utero chemical exposures alter epigenetics and lead to adult disease is of considerable public health concern. Few signaling molecules have the potential to influence the developing mammal as the nucleoside adenosine. Adenosine levels increase rapidly with tissue hypoxia and inflammation. Adenosine antagonists including the methlyxanthines caffeine and theophylline are widely consumed during pregnancy. The receptors that transduce adenosine action are the A1, A2a, A2b, and A3 adenosine receptors (ARs). We examined the long-term effects of in utero disruption of adenosine signaling on cardiac gene expression, morphology, and function in adult offspring. One substance that fetuses are frequently exposed to is caffeine, which is a non-selective adenosine receptor antagonist. Over the past several years, we examined the role of adenosine signaling during embryogenesis and cardiac development. We discovered that in utero alteration in adenosine action leads to adverse effects on embryonic and adult murine hearts. We find that cardiac A1ARs protect the embryo from in utero hypoxic stress, a condition that causes an increase in adenosine levels. After birth in mice, we observed that in utero caffeine exposure leads to abnormal cardiac function and morphology in adults, including an impaired response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Recently, we observed that in utero caffeine exposure induces transgenerational effects on cardiac morphology, function, and gene expression. Our findings indicate that the effects of altered adenosine signaling are dependent on signaling through the A1ARs and timing of disruption. In addition, the long-term effects of altered adenosine signaling appear to be mediated by alterations in DNA methylation, an epigenetic process critical for normal development.

Modtag nyhedsbrev

Ja tak, jeg vil gerne modtage nyhedsbrev, når der er noget nyt om kaffe og helbred.