Maternal Diet During Pregnancy and COVID-19 Susceptibility of Offspring: The “Thrifty Phenotype Hypothesis” Connection

Custer C Deocaris, Malona V Alinsug

Abstract


There is accumulating evidence suggesting that ACE2, the host cell receptor for the spike (S) protein of the SARS-CoV-2, mediates viral entry and infection, is under epigenetic control. Here, we discuss studies suggesting a nutritional strategy for down-regulating ACE2 expression in tissues of offspring through the phenomenon of maternal epigenomic reprogramming mediated by maternal diet. The "thrifty hypothesis" was first proposed by Hales and Barker, which posits that specific genes are programmed based on early-life experience to promote efficient fat deposition and storage in adulthood. Our analysis of the proposed mechanism for "early life programming" in this paper via nutritional modulation of histone acetylation and DNA methylation goes beyond the physiological consequence of boosting the innate cellular resistance to a viral transmission. During the pandemic, where there is still no specific antiviral drug or a widely disseminated vaccine for COVID-19, we hypothesize that an epigenomic nutrition approach may be a practical approach to help mitigate viral transmission offspring.


Keywords


SARS-Cov-2, COVID-19, ACE2, Maternal reprogramming, nutrition epigenomics, perinatal, plant-based diet, high-fat diet effects, thrifty phenotype hypothesis

Full Text:

PDF

References


Le, H.T., Nguyen, L.V., Tran, D.M., Do, H.T., Tran, H.T., Le, Y.T. and Phan, P.H. (2020). The first infant case of COVID-19 acquired from a secondary transmission in Vietnam. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health 4, 405-406.

Salvatori, G., De Rose, D.U., Concato, C., Alario, D., Olivini, N., Dotta, A. and Campana, A. (2020). Managing COVID-19-Positive Maternal–Infant Dyads: An Italian Experience. Breastfeeding Medicine 15, 347-348.

Wei, M., Yuan, J., Liu, Y., Fu, T., Yu, X. and Zhang, Z.-J. (2020). Novel Coronavirus Infection in Hospitalized Infants Under 1 Year of Age in China. JAMA 323, 1313-1314.

Chen, Z.-M. et al. (2020). Diagnosis and treatment recommendations for pediatric respiratory infection caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. World journal of pediatrics, 1-7.

De Rose, D.U. et al. (2020). Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in newborns and infants: what we know so far. Italian Journal of Pediatrics 46, 1-8.

Crackower, M.A. et al. (2002). Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is an essential regulator of heart function. Nature 417, 822-828.

Wang, Q. et al. (2020). Structural and functional basis of SARS-CoV-2 entry by using human ACE2. Cell

Hoffmann, M. et al. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 cell entry depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and is blocked by a clinically proven protease inhibitor. Cell

Verity, R. et al. (2020). Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis. The Lancet infectious diseases

Zhao, Y., Zhao, Z., Wang, Y., Zhou, Y., Ma, Y. and Zuo, W. (2020). Single-cell RNA expression profiling of ACE2, the putative receptor of Wuhan 2019-nCov. BioRxiv

Heialy, S.A., Hachim, M., Senok, A., Tayoun, A.A., Hamoudi, R., Alsheikh-Ali, A. and Hamid, Q. (2020). Regulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in obesity: implications for COVID-19. bioRxiv, 2020.04.17.046938.

Hales, C.N. and Barker, D.J. (1992). Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus: the thrifty phenotype hypothesis. Diabetologia 35, 595-601.

Tobi, E.W. et al. (2014). DNA methylation signatures link prenatal famine exposure to growth and metabolism. Nature communications 5, 1-14.

Levin, B.E. (2006). Metabolic imprinting: critical impact of the perinatal environment on the regulation of energy homeostasis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 361, 1107-1121.

Cedar, H. and Bergman, Y. (2009). Linking DNA methylation and histone modification: patterns and paradigms. Nature Reviews Genetics 10, 295-304.

Fritz, E.L. and Papavasiliou, F.N. (2010). Cytidine deaminases: AIDing DNA demethylation? Genes & development 24, 2107-2114.

Panchenko, P.E. et al. (2016). Expression of epigenetic machinery genes is sensitive to maternal obesity and weight loss in relation to fetal growth in mice. Clinical epigenetics 8, 22-22.

Upadhyaya, B., Larsen, T., Barwari, S., Louwagie, E.J., Baack, M.L. and Dey, M. (2017). Prenatal exposure to a maternal high-fat diet affects histone modification of cardiometabolic genes in newborn rats. Nutrients 9, 407.

Pruimboom, L. (2020). Methylation Pathways and SARS-CoV-2 Lung Infiltration and Cell Membrane-Virus Fusion Are Both Subject to Epigenetics. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 10

Zill, P. et al. (2012). DNA methylation analysis of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene in major depression. PLoS One 7, e40479.

Fan, R. et al. (2017). Preliminary analysis of the association between methylation of the ACE2 promoter and essential hypertension. Mol Med Rep 15, 3905-3911.

Corley, M.J. and Ndhlovu, L.C. (2020). DNA methylation analysis of the COVID-19 host cell receptor, angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 gene (ACE2) in the respiratory system reveal age and gender differences.

Pinto, B.G.G. et al. (2020). ACE2 Expression is Increased in the Lungs of Patients with Comorbidities Associated with Severe COVID-19. medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences, 2020.03.21.20040261.

Clarke, Nicola E., Belyaev, Nikolai D., Lambert, Daniel W. and Turner, Anthony J. (2013). Epigenetic regulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) by SIRT1 under conditions of cell energy stress. Clinical Science 126, 507-516.

Tikoo, K., Patel, G., Kumar, S., Karpe, P.A., Sanghavi, M., Malek, V. and Srinivasan, K. (2015). Tissue specific up regulation of ACE2 in rabbit model of atherosclerosis by atorvastatin: Role of epigenetic histone modifications. Biochemical Pharmacology 93, 343-351.

Li, M., Chen, L., Zhang, J., Xiong, C. and Li, X. (2020). The SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 expression of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs by single-cell transcriptome study. PLOS ONE 15, e0230295.

Sebastiani, G. et al. (2019). The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diet during Pregnancy on the Health of Mothers and Offspring. Nutrients 11, 557.

Grossniklaus, U., Kelly, W.G., Kelly, B., Ferguson-Smith, A.C., Pembrey, M. and Lindquist, S. (2013). Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: how important is it? Nature reviews. Genetics 14, 228-235.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11594/jtls.11.01.07

Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Tropical Life Science