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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.01207

Thermal manipulation during embryogenesis impacts H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 histone marks in chicken hypothalamus

 Sarah-Anne David1,  Anaïs Vitorino Carvalho1,  Coralie Gimonnet1, Aurélien Brionne1, Christelle Hennequet-Antier1, Benoît Piégu2, Sabine Crochet1, Nathalie Couroussé1, Thierry Bordeau1,  Yves Bigot3,  Anne Collin1 and  Vincent Coustham1*
  • 1BOA, INRA, Université de Tours, INRA Centre Val de Loire, France
  • 2PRC, CNRS, IFCE, Université de Tours, INRA Centre Val de Loire, France
  • 3PRC, CNRS, IFCE, INRA, Université de Tours, INRA Centre Val de Loire, France

Changes in gene activity through epigenetic alterations induced by early environmental challenges during embryogenesis are known to impact the phenotype, health and disease risk of animals. Learning how environmental cues translate into persisting epigenetic memory may open new doors to improve robustness and resilience of developing animals. It was previously shown that the heat tolerance of male broiler chickens was improved by cyclically elevating the egg incubation temperature. The embryonic thermal manipulation enhanced gene expression response in muscle (P. major) when animals were heat challenged at slaughter age, 35 days post-hatch. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unknown. Here we investigated the genome-wide distribution in hypothalamus and muscle of two histone post-translational modifications, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3, known to contribute to the environmental memory in eukaryotes. We found 785 H3K4me3 and 148 H3K27me3 differential peaks in the hypothalamus encompassing genes involved in neurodevelopmental, metabolic and gene regulation functions. Interestingly, few differences were identified in the muscle for which differential gene expression was previously described. These results demonstrate that the response to embryonic thermal manipulation in chicken is mediated at least in part by epigenetic changes in the hypothalamus that may contribute to the later-life thermal acclimation.

Keywords: Thermal manipulation, histone post-translational modification, chicken, epigenetic reprogramming, Environmental Exposure

Received: 03 Sep 2019; Accepted: 01 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 David, Vitorino Carvalho, Gimonnet, Brionne, Hennequet-Antier, Piégu, Crochet, Couroussé, Bordeau, Bigot, Collin and Coustham. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Vincent Coustham, INRA Centre Val de Loire, BOA, INRA, Université de Tours, Nouzilly, 37380, Pays de la Loire, France, vincent.coustham@inra.fr