Direct and transgenerational impact on **Daphnia magna** of chemicals with a known effect on DNA methylation
Vandegehuchte, Michiel B.
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Comparative biochemistry and physiology : C : toxicology & pharmacology. - Oxford, 2000, currens
, p. 278-285
University of Antwerp
The purpose of this study is to investigate (1) the induction of epigenetic effects in the crustacean Daphnia magna using DNA methylation as an epigenetic mark and (2) the potential stable transfer of such an epigenetic effect to non-exposed subsequent generations. Daphnids were exposed to chemical substances known to affect DNA methylation in mammals: vinclozolin, 5-azacytidine, 2′-deoxy-5-azacytidine, genistein and biochanin A. Effects on overall DNA cytosine methylation, body length and reproduction were evaluated in 21 day experiments. Using a multi-generational experimental design these endpoints were also evaluated in the F1 and F2 generation of both exposed and non-exposed offspring from F0 daphnids exposed to 5-azacytidine, genistein or vinclozolin. A reduction in DNA methylation was consistently observed in daphnids exposed to vinclozolin and 5-azacytidine. Only in organisms exposed to 5-azacytidine was this effect transferred to the two subsequent non-exposed generations. A concurrent reduction in body length at day 7 was observed in these treatments. For the first time, exposure to environmental chemicals was shown to affect DNA methylation in the parental generation of D. magna. We also demonstrated a transgenerational alteration in an epigenetic system in D. magna, which indicates the possibility of transgenerational inheritance of environment-induced epigenetic changes in non-exposed subsequent generations.