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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01377

Long-term effects of altered photoperiod during pregnancy on liver gene expression of the progeny

Pamela Carmona1, 2, Bárbara Pérez1,  Carlos Trujillo1, 3, Gabriel Espinosa1, Fernando Miranda1,  Natalia Mendez4,  Claudia Torres-Farfan4,  Hans G. Richter4,  Karina Vergara4,  Priscilla Brebi2, 5 and  Jose M. Sarmiento1*
  • 1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Austral University of Chile, Chile
  • 2University of La Frontera, Chile
  • 3Austral University of Chile, Chile
  • 4Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Austral University of Chile, Chile
  • 5Faculty of Medicine, University of La Frontera, Chile

Experimental and epidemiological studies have revealed a relationship between an adverse intrauterine environment and chronic non-communicable disease (NCD) like cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adulthood. An important risk factor for CVD is the deregulation of the fibrinolytic system particularly high levels of expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (Pai-1). Chronic exposure to altered photoperiod disrupts the circadian organization of physiology in the pregnant female, known as gestational chronodisruption, and cause long-term effects on the adult offspring’s circadian physiology. The Pai-1 expression is regulated by the molecular components of the circadian system, termed clock genes. The present study aimed to evaluate the long-term effects of chronic photoperiod shifts (CPS) during pregnancy on the expression of the clock genes and the fibrinolytic system in the liver of adult male offspring. Our results using an animal model demonstrated statistically significant differences at the transcriptional level in males gestated under CPS. At 90 days of postnatal age, the liver transcript levels of the clock gene Bmal1 were downregulated, whereas Rorα, Rorγ, Nfil3, and Pai-1 were upregulated. Our data indicate that CPS during pregnancy affects gene expression in the liver of male adult progeny, showing that alteration of the photoperiod in the mother’s environment leads to persistent effects in the offspring. In conclusion, these results reveal for the first time the long-term effects of gestational chronodisruption on the transcriptional activity of one well-established risk factor associated with CVD in the adult male offspring.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease, fibrinolytic system, PAI-1, Clock genes, gestational chronodisruption, DOHaD, developmental origin of health and disease

Received: 11 Aug 2019; Accepted: 18 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Carmona, Pérez, Trujillo, Espinosa, Miranda, Mendez, Torres-Farfan, Richter, Vergara, Brebi and Sarmiento. 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: PhD. Jose M. Sarmiento, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Austral University of Chile, Valdivia, Chile,