Abstract 19285: Notch1 Haploinsufficiency Increases Risk of Congenital Heart Defects in the Setting of Maternal Diabetes by an Epigenetic Mechanism
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of birth defect. Epidemiologic studies have shown the importance of genetic and environmental factors in the multifactorial etiology of CHD. Maternal diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the non-genetic risk factors that predisposes to CHD predominantly cardiac septation and cardiac outflow tract defects. DM is known to be associated with endothelial cell dysfunction and we recently demonstrated a genetic interaction between endothelial nitric oxide synthase and Notch1, which encodes a receptor that functions in an important cardiac developmental signaling pathway. We hypothesized that maternal DM in the setting of Notch1 heterozygosity of the developing embryo will predispose to CHD. Notch1+/- embryos (E13.5) exposed to maternal DM demonstrated an increased incidence (86%) of ventricular septal defects compared to wildtype littermates (22%) (Table). Gene expression studies in non-diabetic wildtype, diabetic wildtype and Notch1+/- embryos showed DM was associated with decreased Notch1 mRNA levels and upregulation in Jarid2, a histone H3K9 demethylase known to regulate Notch1. In H9C2 and endocardial-derived cells and chick embryos, we showed that hyperglycemia led to decreased expression of Notch1 and its downstream targets in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, Jarid2 mRNA levels increased with high glucose. Furthermore, we found reduced luciferase reporter activity in cells transfected with a constitutively active Notch1 intracellular domain with hyperglycemia. Studies demonstrating the relative enrichment of Jarid2 on Notch1 locus with hyperglycemia by ChIP-qPCR will also be presented. Our findings reveal that maternal DM disrupts cardiac development by deregulating the Notch1 signaling pathway and suggest that this gene-environment interaction is mediated by an epigenetic mechanism involving Jarid2 providing the first mechanistic insights for this association.
- Congenital heart disease
- Diabetes (Type I)
- Cardiac development
- Gene expression
- Ventricular septal defect
Author Disclosures: M. Basu: None. K. Bosse: None. V. Garg: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.