Prenatal malnutrition could promote renal dysfunction in adulthood, but it is unclear whether the detrimental effect could be transmitted to the next generation. We investigated whether famine exposure was associated with variation of estimated glomerular filtration rate(eGFR) in two generations and explored the mediation role of methylation alterations. The longitudinal analysis included 2909 participants from Suihua rural area. F1 and F2 generations were divided into non-famine and famine group based on their birth year and exposure status of their parents, respectively. The eGFR was calculated by using the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration equation. We applied mixed-effect models to investigate the association between famine and ΔeGFR and tested blood DNA methylomes in 46 families across two generations. The mediation-analysis models were utilized to examine the mediation effect of methylation alterations on the famine-ΔeGFR association.

In mixed-effect models, famine exposure was associated with declined ΔeGFR level in F1(β:-8.32;95%CI:-11.51,-5.12) and in F2(β:-6.11;95%CI:-11.88, -0.43). Methylation850K BeadChip data showed only 19 of 961 F1 differentially methylated sites showed concordant alterations in F2. The mediation-analysis results showed methylation alterations on AGTR1 and PRKCA might mediate the famine-ΔeGFR association. Overall, prenatal famine exposure may have long-term effects on eGFR decline across consecutive generations which might be partly mediated by methylation alterations on AGTR1 and PRKCA.