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Cytokine. 2011 Dec;56(3):792-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.09.009. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Age-related loss of CpG methylation in the tumour necrosis factor promoter.

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1
Department of Infection & Immunity, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2RX, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dysregulated production of TNF has been implicated in the pathogenesis and severity of inflammatory rheumatic diseases, many of which show age-related increased incidence. Ageing is also associated with changes in the immune system including higher systemic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Methylation of DNA is an important regulator of gene expression and changes with age.

OBJECTIVE:

In this study we investigated whether the DNA methylation status of the TNF promoter changed with age in peripheral blood leucocytes and macrophages.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Using pyrosequencing assays we detected age-related demethylation of CpG motifs (-304, -245 and -239) in the TNF promoter in human peripheral blood cells from 312 healthy controls (0.8% per decade, confidence interval (CI)=0.44-1.13%, p=1×10(-5)) and primary monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) from a separate population of 78 healthy controls (1.4% per decade, CI=0.79-2.13%, p=7×10(-5)). Methylation a TNF promoter fragment (-345-+154) resulted in 78% reduction of reporter gene activity compared with the unmethylated promoter construct.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest a potential role of accrued changes in DNA methylation in the development of age-related inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica, in which TNF is a pivotal mediator.

PMID:
22004920
DOI:
10.1016/j.cyto.2011.09.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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