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Genome Biol. 2013 Aug 30;14(8):R94. doi: 10.1186/gb-2013-14-8-r94.

Measuring cell-type specific differential methylation in human brain tissue.

Abstract

The behavior of epigenetic mechanisms in the brain is obscured by tissue heterogeneity and disease-related histological changes. Not accounting for these confounders leads to biased results. We develop a statistical methodology that estimates and adjusts for celltype composition by decomposing neuronal and non-neuronal differential signal. This method provides a conceptual framework for deconvolving heterogeneous epigenetic data from postmortem brain studies. We apply it to find cell-specific differentially methylated regions between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. We demonstrate the utility of the method on both Infinium 450k and CHARM data.

PMID:
24000956
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC4054676
Free PMC Article

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