AIM: Recent findings show that DNA methylation is susceptible to very preterm (VPT) birth and to the experience of the early stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The aim of the study was to compare PLAGL1 methylation between VPT and full-term (FT) infants at birth as well as between VPT infants at discharge and FT infants at birth.
METHODS: DNA was collected from cord blood of 56 VPT and 27 FT infants at birth and from peripheral blood in VPT infants at neonatal intensive care unit discharge. Sociodemographic and neonatal variables were considered.
RESULTS: PLAGL1 methylation at birth and at discharge were highly correlated in VPT infants. Lower methylation emerged in VPT infants at birth and discharge compared to FT counterparts.
CONCLUSION: PLAGL1 hypomethylation emerged as a potential epigenetic mark of VPT birth. Future research is warranted to assess the functional consequences of PLAGL1 diminished methylation in VPT infants' development.