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Meister, Sarah; Kolben, Thomas; Beyer, Susanne; Hutter, Stefan; Hofmann, Simone; Kuhn, Christina; Messner, Julia; Mayr, Doris; Solano, Maria Emilia; Jegen, Magdalena; Obermeier, Viola; Mahner, Sven; Arck, Petra; Jeschke, Udo (2020): Sex-specific epigenetic gene activation profiles are differentially modulated in human placentas affected by intrauterine growth restriction. In: Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Vol. 139, 103124
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Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the sex specific expression of histone protein modifications responsible for rapid gene expression in IUGR placentas. Patients and Methods: We screened for fetal sex-specific expression of the histone proteins H3K4me3 and H3K9ac in 23 IUGR and 40 control placentas via immunohistochemistry. The trophoblast-like cell line BeWo was used in order to analyze a potential effect of stimulation with prednisolone on H3K4me3 and H3K9ac in vitro. Calculating regression models with additional adjustment for potential confounders were used. Results: A significantly decreased level of H3K4me3 was detectable in female syncytiotrophoblasts, whereas H3K9ac was reduced predominantly in male extravillous throphoblast (EVT). No association to the gestational age existed. Conclusion: Our data showed a reduced expression of the histone proteins H3K4me3 (female) and H3K9ac (male) in IUGR, furthermore elevated cortisol levels may lead to a sex-specific down-regulation of histone proteins in IUGR placentas.