Archives of Public Health

, 73:P41 | Cite as

The Maternal Nutrition and Offspring's Epigenome (MANOE) study: a prospective, monocentric, observational study.

  • Sara Pauwels
  • Inge Huybrechts
  • Roland Devlieger
  • Gudrun Koppen
  • Lode Godderis
Poster presentation


Folate Intake Maternal Nutrition Expectant Mother Micronutrient Intake Specific Target Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Epigenetic modifications have the ability to change the susceptibility to metabolic diseases like obesity. DNA methylation can change during a life course due to environmental exposures like diet.


To determine the effects of dietary methyl-group intake during pregnancy on the DNA methylation pattern of mother and child. In addition, the association between the DNA methylation pattern of the mother and child on body composition/weight gain of the infant during the first year will be studied.


We have recruited 166 and 95 expectant mothers and fathers respectively, who are followed up in UZ Leuven. Validated questionnaires are used to obtain information about lifestyle and environmental factors that can influence DNA methylation. A food-frequency questionnaire was developed and validated to categorize women in groups according to their methyl-group intake. Women fill out a 7-day dietary record to have information about macro- and micronutrient intake. Body composition is followed up by means of the bio-electrical impedance method. Blood samples are collected during pregnancy and until 1 year postpartum. Cord blood is taken and mouth epithelial cells are obtained from the infants at 6 and 12 months. Samples will be analyzed for global DNA (de)methylation by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and specific target genes involved in DNA (de)methylation and genes linked with obesity/adiposity by pyrosequencing.


Our first results give an indication that the intake of methyl-groups during pregnancy is stable, except for a decrease in total folate intake in the second and third trimester. Also, global DNA methylation analysis shows that maternal methylation is rather stable over pregnancy, with a small decrease (-0.17%,p=0.03) in methylation by the end of pregnancy.


With this study we will gain insight on the effect of maternal nutrition on offspring DNA methylation and potentially identify DNA methylation biomarkers at birth that can mediate problems with metabolism/obesity.

Copyright information

© Pauwels et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Pauwels
    • 1
  • Inge Huybrechts
    • 2
  • Roland Devlieger
    • 3
  • Gudrun Koppen
    • 4
  • Lode Godderis
    • 5
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)LyonFrance
  3. 3.KU Leuven/ UZ LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO)MolBelgium
  5. 5.KU Leuven/IDEWELeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations