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Title: Exposure to 3,3′,4,4′,5-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126) Causes Widespread DNA Hypomethylation in Adult Zebrafish Testis

Exposure to environmental toxicants during preconception has been shown to affect offspring health and epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are hypothesized to be involved in adverse outcomes. However, studies addressing the effects of exposure to environmental toxicants during preconception on epigenetic changes in gametes are limited. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of preconceptional exposure to a dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (3,3′,4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl [PCB126]) on DNA methylation and gene expression in testis. Adult zebrafish were exposed to 3 and 10 nM PCB126 for 24 h and testis tissue was sampled at 7 days postexposure for histology, DNA methylation, and gene expression profiling. Reduced representation bisulfite sequencing revealed 37 and 92 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in response to 3 and 10 nM PCB126 exposures, respectively. Among them, 19 DMRs were found to be common between both PCB126 treatment groups. Gene ontology (GO) analysis of DMRs revealed that enrichment of terms such as RNA processing, iron-sulfur cluster assembly, and gluconeogenesis. Gene expression profiling showed differential expression of 40 and 1621 genes in response to 3 and 10 nM PCB126 exposures, respectively. GO analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed enrichment of terms related to xenobiotic metabolism, oxidative stress, and immune function. There is no more » overlap in the GO terms or individual genes between DNA methylation and RNA sequencing results, but functionally many of the altered pathways have been shown to cause spermatogenic defects.

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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Toxicological Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 75-87
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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