Casati L, Sendra R, Colciago A, Negri-Cesi P, Berdasco M, Esteller M, Celotti F
BACKGROUND: The epigenome represents an important target of environmental pollution. Early-life exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) modifies sex steroid enzymes and receptor transcription patterns. Steroid receptors, such as androgen receptor (AR), function as coregulators of histone modification enzymes. AIM: To clarify if a PCB early-life exposure might affect the epigenome in rat liver, we analyzed some histone post-translational modifications (H3K4me3 and H4K16Ac) and the corresponding histone remodeling enzymes, and the AR as a histone enzyme coregulator. RESULTS: We observed a decrease of H4K16Ac and H3K4me3 levels, possibly linked to the induction of chromatin-modifying enzymes SirtT1 and Jarid1b, and a decrease of AR. PCBs also seem to induce AR transcriptional activity. Some of the observed effects are sex dimorphic. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that an early-life exposure to PCB sometimes modifies the epigenome in the offspring liver in a dimorphic way. AR might be involved in modulating PCB effects on the epigenome.