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An epigenetic clock for gestational age at birth based on blood methylation data

Knight, Anna K., Craig, Jeffrey M., Theda, Christiane, Bækvad-Hansen, Marie, Bybjerg-Grauholm, Jonas, Hansen, Christine S., Hollegaard, Mads V., Hougaard, David M., Mortensen, Preben B., Weinsheimer, Shantel M., Werge, Thomas M., Brennan, Patricia A., Cubells, Joseph F., Newport, D. Jeffrey, Stowe, Zachary N., Cheong, Jeanie L. Y., Dalach, Philippa A., Doyle, Lex W., Loke, Yuk J. and Baccarelli, Aandrea A. 2016, An epigenetic clock for gestational age at birth based on blood methylation data, Genome Biology, vol. 17, no. 1, doi: 10.1186/s13059-016-1068-z.

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Title An epigenetic clock for gestational age at birth based on blood methylation data
Author(s) Knight, Anna K.
Craig, Jeffrey M.
Theda, Christiane
Bækvad-Hansen, Marie
Bybjerg-Grauholm, Jonas
Hansen, Christine S.
Hollegaard, Mads V.
Hougaard, David M.
Mortensen, Preben B.
Weinsheimer, Shantel M.
Werge, Thomas M.
Brennan, Patricia A.
Cubells, Joseph F.
Newport, D. Jeffrey
Stowe, Zachary N.
Cheong, Jeanie L. Y.
Dalach, Philippa A.
Doyle, Lex W.
Loke, Yuk J.
Baccarelli, Aandrea A.
Journal name Genome Biology
Volume number 17
Issue number 1
Article ID 206
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-10-07
ISSN 1474-760X
1474-760X
Keyword(s) Aging
Biomarker
Birthweight
Blood spot
Cord blood
DNA methylation
Developmental age
Epigenetic clock
Fetus
Medicaid
Preterm birth
Socioeconomic status
Adult
Biomarkers
Birth Weight
CpG Islands
Epigenesis, Genetic
Female
Fetal Development
Gestational Age
Humans
Infant, Newborn
Male
Pregnancy
Summary BACKGROUND: Gestational age is often used as a proxy for developmental maturity by clinicians and researchers alike. DNA methylation has previously been shown to be associated with age and has been used to accurately estimate chronological age in children and adults. In the current study, we examine whether DNA methylation in cord blood can be used to estimate gestational age at birth.

RESULTS: We find that gestational age can be accurately estimated from DNA methylation of neonatal cord blood and blood spot samples. We calculate a DNA methylation gestational age using 148 CpG sites selected through elastic net regression in six training datasets. We evaluate predictive accuracy in nine testing datasets and find that the accuracy of the DNA methylation gestational age is consistent with that of gestational age estimates based on established methods, such as ultrasound. We also find that an increased DNA methylation gestational age relative to clinical gestational age is associated with birthweight independent of gestational age, sex, and ancestry.

CONCLUSIONS: DNA methylation can be used to accurately estimate gestational age at or near birth and may provide additional information relevant to developmental stage. Further studies of this predictor are warranted to determine its utility in clinical settings and for research purposes. When clinical estimates are available this measure may increase accuracy in the testing of hypotheses related to developmental age and other early life circumstances.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s13059-016-1068-z
Field of Research 05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
08 Information And Computing Sciences
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110789

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.