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J Pain. 2019 Jul;20(7):771-785. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.12.008. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Enrichment of Genomic Pathways Based on Differential DNA Methylation Associated With Chronic Postsurgical Pain and Anxiety in Children: A Prospective, Pilot Study.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio; Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio. Electronic address: vidya.chidambaran@cchmc.org.
2
Pyrosequencing core for genomic and epigenomic research, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.
4
Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
5
Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Divisions of Biomedical Informatics and Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
6
Divisions of Biomedical Informatics and Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
7
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati; Division of Asthma Research, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Abstract

We have reported child anxiety sensitivity (Child Anxiety Sensitivity Index [CASI]) predicts chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP). Herein, we evaluated DNA methylation profiles to understand the gene-environment interactions underlying CPSP and CASI, to identify shared, enriched, genomic pathways. In 73 prospectively recruited adolescents undergoing spine fusion, preoperative CASI and pain data over 12 months after surgery were collected. DNA from the peripheral blood of evaluable subjects with (n = 16) and without CPSP (n = 40) were analyzed using MethylationEPIC arrays. We identified 637 and 2,445 differentially DNA methylated positions (DMPs) associated with CPSP and CASI, respectively (P ≤ .05). Ingenuity pathway analysis of 39 genes with DMPs for both CPSP and CASI revealed enrichment of several canonical pathways, including GABA receptor (P = .00016 for CPSP; P =.0008 for CASI) and dopamine-DARPP32 feedback in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (P = .004 for CPSP and P =.00003 for CASI) signaling. Gene-gene interaction network enrichment analysis revealed participation of pathways in cell signaling, molecular transport, metabolism, and neurologic diseases (P < 10-8). Bioinformatic approaches to identify histone marks and transcription factor (TF) binding events underlying DMPs, showed their location in active regulatory regions in pain pathway relevant brain cells. Using Enrichr/Pinet enrichment and Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures knockdown signatures, we identified TFs regulating genes with DMPs in association with CPSP and CASI. In conclusion, we identified epigenetically enriched pathways associated with CPSP and anxiety sensitivity in children undergoing surgery. Our findings support GABA hypofunction and the roles of the dopamine-DARPP32 pathway in emotion/reward and pain. This pilot study provides new epigenetic insights into the pathophysiology of CPSP and a basis for future studies in biomarker development and targetable interventions. PERSPECTIVE: Differential DNA methylation in regulatory genomic regions enriching shared neural pathways were associated with CPSP and CASI in adolescents undergoing spine surgery. Our findings support GABA hypofunction and the roles of the dopamine-DARPP32 pathway in emotion/reward contributing to behavioral maintenance of pain 10 to 12 months after surgery.

KEYWORDS:

Bioinformatics; DNA methylation; anxiety; chronic postsurgical pain; epigenetics; functional genomics

PMID:
30639570
PMCID:
PMC6616015
[Available on 2020-07-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpain.2018.12.008

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