In the Pune Vitamin B12 Trial, we are collecting cord blood and placental samples for extensive molecular biology investigations. We will undertake high-throughput analysis of the methylome, transcriptome and the metabolome on cord blood samples. This will enable us to identify molecular signatures that predict fetal programming, and identify rationally refined strategies for nutritional intervention of young girls to cardiometabolic disease in the next generation.
We have recently secured funding to study genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in 5-8 year old children whose mothers participated in two pre- and peri-conceptional micronutrient supplementation trials (the Mumbai Maternal Nutrition Project in India and the Peri-conceptional Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Trial in rural Gambia). The latter is in collaboration with Andrew Prentice and colleagues at the MRC Unit, The Gambia. We will correlate any differences in methylation patterns between intervention and control groups with health-related outcomes in the children, including size at birth, post-natal growth, and childhood body composition, cardiometabolic risk markers and cognitive ability, and compare these associations between the two cohorts.