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Sex- And tissue-specific effects of binge-level prenatal alcohol consumption on DNA methylation at birth
journal contributionposted on 2021-12-01, 00:00 authored by Y J Loke, E Muggli, R Saffery, J Ryan, S Lewis, E J Elliott, J Halliday, Jeffrey CraigJeffrey Craig
Background: Binge-level prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) causes developmental abnormalities, which may be mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms. Despite this, few studies have characterised the association of binge PAE with DNA methylation in offspring. Methods: We investigated the association between binge PAE and genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in a sex-specific manner in neonatal buccal and placental samples. Results: We identified no differentially methylated CpGs or differentially methylated regions (DMRs) at false discovery rate <0.05. However, using a sum-of-ranks approach, we identified a DMR in each tissue of female offspring. The DMR identified in buccal samples is located near regions with previously-reported associations to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and binge PAE. Conclusion: Our findings warrant further replication and highlight a potential epigenetic link between binge PAE and FASD.