Epigenetic mechanisms are likely to be involved in the development of obesity. This study was designed to examine the role of a DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt3a), in obese adipose tissue. The gene expression of Dnmts was examined by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Transgenic mice overexpressing Dnmt3a in the adipose tissue driven by the aP2 promoter were created (Dnmt3a mice). DNA methylation of downregulated genes was examined using bisulfite DNA methylation analysis. Dnmt3a mice were fed a methyl-supplemented or high-fat diet, and subjected to body weight measurement and gene expression analysis of the adipose tissue. Expression of Dnmt3a was markedly upregulated in the adipose tissue of obese mice. The complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray analysis of Dnmt3a mice revealed a slight decrease in the gene expression of secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) and marked increase in that of interferon responsive factor 9 (IRF9). In the SFRP1 promoter, DNA methylation was not markedly increased in Dnmt3a mice relative to wild-type mice. In experiments with a high-fat diet or methyl-supplemented diet, body weight did not differ significantly with the genotypes. Gene expression levels of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were higher in Dnmt3a mice than in wild-type mice on a high-fat diet. This study suggests that increased expression of Dnmt3a in the adipose tissue may contribute to obesity-related inflammation. The data highlight the potential role of Dnmt3a in the adult tissue as well as in the developing embryo and cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics