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Epigenetics. 2012 Jan 1;7(1):63-70. doi: 10.4161/epi.7.1.18749. Epub 2012 Jan 1.

Aging and epigenetics: longitudinal changes in gene-specific DNA methylation.

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  • 1The Earth Institute and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. jm3731@columbia.edu

Abstract

DNA methylation has been associated with age-related disease. Intra-individual changes in gene-specific DNA methylation over time in a community-based cohort has not been well described. We estimated the change in DNA methylation due to aging for nine genes in an elderly, community-dwelling cohort of men. Seven hundred and eighty four men from the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study who were living in metropolitan Boston from 1999-2009 donated a blood sample for DNA methylation analysis at clinical examinations repeated at approximately 3-5 year intervals. We used mixed effects regression models. Aging was significantly associated with decreased methylation of GCR, iNOS and TLR2 and with increased methylation of IFNγ, F3, CRAT and OGG. Obstructive pulmonary disease at baseline modified the effect of aging on methylation of IFNγ (interaction p = 0.04). For participants who had obstructive pulmonary disease at their baseline visit, the rate of change of methylation of IFNγ was -0.05% 5-methyl-cytosine (5-mC) per year (95% CI: -0.22, 0.13), but was 0.14% 5-mC per year (95% CI: 0.05, 0.24) for those without this condition. Models with random slopes indicated significant heterogeneity in the effect of aging on methylation of GCR, iNOS and OGG. These findings suggest that DNA methylation may reflect differential biological aging.

PMID:
22207354
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3329504
Free PMC Article

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