Journal Articles

Maternal dietary choline deficiency alters angiogenesis in fetal mouse hippocampus.

March 18, 2010

Mehedint, M.G., Craciunescu, C.N., Zeisel, S.H. (2010)Maternal dietary choline deficiency alters angiogenesis in fetal mouse hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 107(29): 12834-39. PMCID: PMC2919920.


We examined whether maternal dietary choline modulates angiogenesis in fetal brain. Pregnant C57BL/6 mice were fed either a choline-deficient (CD), control (CT), or choline-supplemented diet (CS) from days 12 to 17 (E12-17) of pregnancy and then fetal brains were studied. In CD fetal hippocampus, proliferation of endothelial cells (EC) was decreased by 32% (p < 0.01 vs. CT or CS) while differentiated EC clusters (expressing factor VIII related antigen (RA)) increased by 25% (p < 0.01 vs. CT or CS). These changes were associated with > 25% decrease in the number of blood vessels in CD fetal hippocampus (p < 0.01 vs. CT and CS), with no change in total cross-sectional area of these blood vessels. Expression of genes for the angiogenic signals derived from both endothelial and neuronal progenitor cells (NPC) was increased in CD fetal hippocampus VEGF C (Vegfc), 2.0-fold, p < 0.01 vs. CT and angiopoietin 2 (Angpt2), 2.1-fold, (p < 0.01 vs. CT)). Similar increased expression was observed in NPC isolated from E14 fetal mouse brains and exposed to low (5 microM), CT (70 microM), or high choline (280 microM) media for 72 h (low choline caused a 9.7-fold increase in relative gene expression of Vegfc (p < 0.001 vs. CT and high) and a 3.4-fold increase in expression of Angpt2, (p < 0.05 vs. CT and high). ANGPT2 protein was increased 42.2% (p < 0.01). Cytosine-phosphate-guanine dinucleotide islands in the proximity of the promoter areas of Vegfc and Angpt2 were hypomethylated in low choline NPC compared to CT NPC (p < 0.01). We conclude that maternal dietary choline intake alters angiogenesis in the developing fetal hippocampus.

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