Parental Exposure to Dim Light at Night Prior to Mating Alters Offspring Adaptive Immunity
Cissé, Yasmine M.
Russart, Kathryn L.G.
Nelson, Randy J.
- Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
(issn: 2045-2322, eissn: 2045-2322)
Exposure to dim light at night (dLAN) disrupts natural light/dark cycles and impairs endogenous circadian rhythms necessary to maintain optimal biological function, including the endocrine and immune systems. We have previously demonstrated that white dLAN compromises innate and cell mediated immune responses in adult Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). We hypothesized that dLAN has transgenerational influences on immune function. Adult male and female Siberian hamsters were exposed to either dark nights (DARK) or dLAN (~5 lux) for 9 weeks, then paired in full factorial design, mated, and thereafter housed under dark nights. Offspring were gestated and reared in dark nights, then tested as adults for cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Maternal exposure to dLAN dampened delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses in male offspring. Maternal and paternal exposure to dLAN reduced DTH responses in female offspring. IgG antibodies to a novel antigen were elevated in offspring of dams exposed to dLAN. Paternal exposure to dLAN decreased splenic endocrine receptor expression and global methylation in a parental sex-specific manner. Together, these data suggest that exposure to dLAN has transgenerational effects on endocrine-immune function that may be mediated by global alterations in the epigenetic landscape of immune tissues.