Allergen sensitization is associated with increased dna methylation in older men

Joanne E. Sordillo, Nancy E. Lange, Letizia Tarantini, Valentina Bollati, Antonella Zanobetti, David Sparrow, Pantel Vokonas, Joel Schwartz, Andrea Baccarelli, Dawn Demeo, Augusto A. Litonjua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Variation in epigenetic modifications, arising from either environmental exposures or internal physiological changes, can influence gene expression and may ultimately contribute to complex diseases such as asthma and allergies. We examined the association of asthma and allergic phenotypes with DNA methylation levels of retrotransposon-derived elements. Methods: We used data from 704 men (mean age 73 years) in the longitudinal Normative Aging Study to assess the relationship between asthma, allergic phenotypes and DNA methylation levels of the retrotransposon-derived elements Alu and long interspersed nuclear element (LINE)-1. Retrotransposons represent a large fraction of the genome (>30%) and are heavily methylated to prevent expression. Percent methylation of Alu and LINE-1 elements in peripheral white blood cells was quantified using PCR pyrosequencing. Data on sensitization to common allergens from skin prick testing, asthma and methacholine responsiveness were gathered approximately 8 years prior to DNA methylation analysis. Results: Prior allergen sensitization was associated with increased methylation of Alu (β = 0.32 for sensitized vs. nonsensitized patients; p = 0.003) in models adjusted for pack-years of smoking, body mass index, current smoking, air pollutants, percentage of eosinophils, white blood cell count and age. Of the men interviewed, 5% of subjects reported a diagnosis of asthma. Neither Alu nor LINE-1 methylation was associated with asthma. Conclusions: These data suggest that increased DNA methylation of repetitive elements may be associated with allergen sensitization but does not appear to be associated with asthma. Future work is needed to identify potential underlying mechanisms for these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Fingerprint

Allergens
Methylation
Asthma
DNA Methylation
Retroelements
Smoking
Alu Elements
Phenotype
Air Pollutants
Methacholine Chloride
Environmental Exposure
Leukocyte Count
Eosinophils
Epigenomics
Hypersensitivity
Body Mass Index
Leukocytes
Genome
Gene Expression
Polymerase Chain Reaction

Keywords

  • Allergen sensitization
  • Alu
  • DNA methylation
  • Long interspersed nuclear element-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Sordillo, J. E., Lange, N. E., Tarantini, L., Bollati, V., Zanobetti, A., Sparrow, D., ... Litonjua, A. A. (2013). Allergen sensitization is associated with increased dna methylation in older men. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 161(1), 37-43. https://doi.org/10.1159/000343004

Allergen sensitization is associated with increased dna methylation in older men. / Sordillo, Joanne E.; Lange, Nancy E.; Tarantini, Letizia; Bollati, Valentina; Zanobetti, Antonella; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel; Schwartz, Joel; Baccarelli, Andrea; Demeo, Dawn; Litonjua, Augusto A.

In: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, Vol. 161, No. 1, 04.2013, p. 37-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sordillo, JE, Lange, NE, Tarantini, L, Bollati, V, Zanobetti, A, Sparrow, D, Vokonas, P, Schwartz, J, Baccarelli, A, Demeo, D & Litonjua, AA 2013, 'Allergen sensitization is associated with increased dna methylation in older men', International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, vol. 161, no. 1, pp. 37-43. https://doi.org/10.1159/000343004
Sordillo, Joanne E. ; Lange, Nancy E. ; Tarantini, Letizia ; Bollati, Valentina ; Zanobetti, Antonella ; Sparrow, David ; Vokonas, Pantel ; Schwartz, Joel ; Baccarelli, Andrea ; Demeo, Dawn ; Litonjua, Augusto A. / Allergen sensitization is associated with increased dna methylation in older men. In: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology. 2013 ; Vol. 161, No. 1. pp. 37-43.
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abstract = "Background: Variation in epigenetic modifications, arising from either environmental exposures or internal physiological changes, can influence gene expression and may ultimately contribute to complex diseases such as asthma and allergies. We examined the association of asthma and allergic phenotypes with DNA methylation levels of retrotransposon-derived elements. Methods: We used data from 704 men (mean age 73 years) in the longitudinal Normative Aging Study to assess the relationship between asthma, allergic phenotypes and DNA methylation levels of the retrotransposon-derived elements Alu and long interspersed nuclear element (LINE)-1. Retrotransposons represent a large fraction of the genome (>30{\%}) and are heavily methylated to prevent expression. Percent methylation of Alu and LINE-1 elements in peripheral white blood cells was quantified using PCR pyrosequencing. Data on sensitization to common allergens from skin prick testing, asthma and methacholine responsiveness were gathered approximately 8 years prior to DNA methylation analysis. Results: Prior allergen sensitization was associated with increased methylation of Alu (β = 0.32 for sensitized vs. nonsensitized patients; p = 0.003) in models adjusted for pack-years of smoking, body mass index, current smoking, air pollutants, percentage of eosinophils, white blood cell count and age. Of the men interviewed, 5{\%} of subjects reported a diagnosis of asthma. Neither Alu nor LINE-1 methylation was associated with asthma. Conclusions: These data suggest that increased DNA methylation of repetitive elements may be associated with allergen sensitization but does not appear to be associated with asthma. Future work is needed to identify potential underlying mechanisms for these relationships.",
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AB - Background: Variation in epigenetic modifications, arising from either environmental exposures or internal physiological changes, can influence gene expression and may ultimately contribute to complex diseases such as asthma and allergies. We examined the association of asthma and allergic phenotypes with DNA methylation levels of retrotransposon-derived elements. Methods: We used data from 704 men (mean age 73 years) in the longitudinal Normative Aging Study to assess the relationship between asthma, allergic phenotypes and DNA methylation levels of the retrotransposon-derived elements Alu and long interspersed nuclear element (LINE)-1. Retrotransposons represent a large fraction of the genome (>30%) and are heavily methylated to prevent expression. Percent methylation of Alu and LINE-1 elements in peripheral white blood cells was quantified using PCR pyrosequencing. Data on sensitization to common allergens from skin prick testing, asthma and methacholine responsiveness were gathered approximately 8 years prior to DNA methylation analysis. Results: Prior allergen sensitization was associated with increased methylation of Alu (β = 0.32 for sensitized vs. nonsensitized patients; p = 0.003) in models adjusted for pack-years of smoking, body mass index, current smoking, air pollutants, percentage of eosinophils, white blood cell count and age. Of the men interviewed, 5% of subjects reported a diagnosis of asthma. Neither Alu nor LINE-1 methylation was associated with asthma. Conclusions: These data suggest that increased DNA methylation of repetitive elements may be associated with allergen sensitization but does not appear to be associated with asthma. Future work is needed to identify potential underlying mechanisms for these relationships.

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