Integrative network analysis of differentially methylated regions to study the impact of gestational weight gain on maternal metabolism and fetal-neonatal growth

Argentato P.P. et al.

Integrative network analysis (INA) is important for identifying gene modules or epigenetically regulated molecular pathways in diseases. This study evaluated the effect of excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG) on INA of differentially methylated regions, maternal metabolism and offspring growth. Brazilian women from "The Araraquara Cohort Study" with adequate pre-pregnancy body mass index were divided into EGWG (n=30) versus adequate gestational weight gain (AGWG, n=45) groups. The methylome analysis was performed on maternal blood using the Illumina MethylationEPIC BeadChip. Fetal-neonatal growth was assessed by ultrasound and anthropometry, respectively. Maternal lipid and glycemic profiles were investigated. Maternal triglycerides-TG (p=0.030) and total cholesterol (p=0.014); fetus occipito-frontal diameter (p=0.005); neonate head circumference-HC (p=0.016) and thoracic perimeter (p=0.020) were greater in the EGWG compared to the AGWG group. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that maternal DNA methylation was associated with maternal TG and fasting insulin, fetal abdominal circumference, and fetal and neonate HC. The DMRs studied were enriched in 142 biological processes, 21 molecular functions,and 17 cellular components with terms directed for the fatty acids metabolism. Three DMGMs were identified:COL3A1, ITGA4 and KLRK1. INA targeted chronic diseases and maternal metabolism contributing to an epigenetic understanding of the involvement of GWG in maternal metabolism and fetal-neonatal growth.

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March, 2024


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