Social Crowding during Development Causes Changes in GnRH1 DNA MethylationReport as inadecuate




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Gestational and developmental cues have important consequences for long-term health, behavior and adaptation to the environment. In addition, social stressors cause plastic molecular changes in the brain that underlie unique behavioral phenotypes that also modulate fitness. In the adult African cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni, growth and social status of males are both directly regulated by social interactions in a dynamic social environment, which causes a suite of plastic changes in circuits, cells and gene transcription in the brain. We hypothesized that a possible mechanism underlying some molecular changes might be DNA methylation, a reversible modification made to cytosine nucleotides that is known to regulate gene function. Here we asked whether changes in DNA methylation of the GnRH1 gene, the central regulator of the reproductive axis, were altered during development of A. burtoni. We measured changes in methylation state of the GnRH1 gene during normal development and following the gestational and developmental stress of social crowding. We found differential DNA methylation within developing juveniles between 14-, 28- and 42-day-old. Following gestational crowding of mouth brooding mothers, we saw differential methylation and transcription of GnRH1 in their offspring. Taken together, our data provides evidence for social control of GnRH1 developmental responses to gestational cues through DNA methylation.



Author: Sebastian G. Alvarado , Kapa Lenkov , Blake Williams, Russell D. Fernald

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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