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Transgenerational inheritance of abnormal spermatogenesis with Igf2/H19 epigenetic alteration in CD1 mouse induced by in utero arsenic exposure

By Guoying Yin, Liting Xia, Yaxing Hou, Yaoyan Li, Deqing Cao, Yanan Liu, Jingshan Chen, Juan Liu, Liwen Zhang, Qiaoyun Yang, Qiang Zhang, Naijun Tang

Posted 18 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.16.044032

Developmental exposure to environmental toxicants can induce transgenerational reproductive disease phenotypes through epigenetic mechanisms. However, little is known about the transgenerational effects of arsenic exposure. We hypothesize that prenatal arsenic exposure may result in impaired spermatogenesis in subsequent generations of male mice. To test our hypothesis, we treated pregnant CD-1 (F0) mice with drinking water containing sodium arsenite (85 ppm) from days 8 to 18 of gestation. Male offspring were bred with untreated female mice until the F3 generation was produced. Our results revealed that transient exposure of the F0 gestating female to arsenic can result in decreased sperm quality and histological abnormalities in testes of male offspring in the F1 and F3 generations. The overall methylation status of Igf2 DMR2 and H19 DMR was significantly lower in the arsenic-exposed group than that of the control group in both F1 and F3 generations. The relative mRNA expression levels of Igf2 and H19 in arsenic-exposed males were significantly higher than in the control males in both F1 and F3 generations. This study indicates that ancestral exposure to arsenic may result in transgenerational inheritance of an impaired spermatogenesis phenotyping involving both epigenetic alterations and the abnormal expression of Igf2 and H19. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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