Excess Folic Acid Supplementation before and during Pregnancy and Lactation Alters Behaviors and Brain Gene Expression in Female Mouse Offspring.
IF: 6.706


Use of folic acid (FA) during early pregnancy protects against birth defects. However, excess FA has shown gender-specific neurodevelopmental toxicity. Previously, we fed the mice with 2.5 times the recommended amount of FA one week prior to mating and during the pregnancy and lactation periods, and detected the activated expression of Fos and related genes in the brains of weaning male offspring, as well as behavioral abnormalities in the adults. Here, we studied whether female offspring were affected by the same dosage of FA. An open field test, three-chamber social approach and social novelty test, an elevated plus-maze, rotarod test and the Morris water maze task were used to evaluate their behaviors. RNA sequencing was performed to identify differentially expressed genes in the brains. Quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blots were applied to verify the changes in gene expression. We found increased anxiety and impaired exploratory behavior, motor coordination and spatial memory in FA-exposed females. The brain transcriptome revealed 36 up-regulated and 79 down-regulated genes in their brains at weaning. The increase of Tlr1; Sult1a1; Tph2; Acacb; Etnppl; Angptl4 and Apold1, as well as a decrease of Ppara mRNA were confirmed by qRT-PCR. Among these genes; the mRNA levels of Etnppl; Angptl4andApold1 were increased in the both FA-exposed female and male brains. The elevation of Sult1a1 protein was confirmed by Western blots. Our data suggest that excess FA alteres brain gene expression and behaviors in female offspring, of which certain genes show apparent gender specificity.


folic acid
gene expression


Yang, Xingyue
Sun, Wenyan
Wu, Qian
Lin, Hongyan
Lu, Zhixing
Shen, Xin
Chen, Yongqi
Zhou, Yan
Huang, Li
Wu, Feng
Liu, Fei
Chu, Dandan