Little is known regarding the role of hyperglycaemia on histone H3 modifications and, in turn, altering the expression of genes during the development of diabetes-associated complications. In the present study, we have investigated the hyperinsulinaemia/hyperglycaemia-induced epigenetic changes and alteration of Fbn1 (fibrillin 1) and Col3A1 (collagen type III α1) gene expression. Insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes in male Sprague–Dawley rats was developed by feeding rats an HFD (high-fat diet) and administering a low dose of STZ (streptozotocin). Hyperglycaemia induced deacetylation and dephosphorylation of histone H3 in the heart and kidneys of diabetic rats. Furthermore, mRNA expression of Fbn1 and Col3A1 increased in the kidneys and decreased in the heart under hyperglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic conditions. Similar to mRNA expression, chromatin immunoprecipitation also showed an increase in the level of histone H3 acetylation of the Fbn1 gene, but not of the Col3A1 gene. Our present findings suggests that the change in expression of the Fbn1 gene is epigenetically regulated, but the expression of the Col3A1 gene may either be independent of epigenetic regulation or may involve other histone modifications. We provide the first evidence regarding the role of hyperglycaemia/hyperinsulinaemia in altering histone H3 modifications, which may result in the alteration of extracellular matrix gene expression.

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