Epigenome-wide DNA methylation in placentas from preterm infants: association with maternal SES

Hudson P Santos Jr, Arjun Bhattacharya, Elizabeth M Martin, Kezia Addo, Matt Psioda, Lisa Smeester, Robert M Joseph, Stephen R Hooper, Jean A Frazier, Karl C Kuban, T Michael O’Shea, Rebecca C Fry

Epigenetics. 2019 Aug;14(8):751-765.

PubMed Link

Hypothesis: prenatal maternal SES adversity is associated with DNA methylation in placenta. SES adversity defined by four factors: college education, marital status, nutritional service assistance, and health insurance. Epigenome-wide DNA methylation in 426 placentas from ELGAN cohort found associations between SES adversity and DNA methylation at 33 CpG sites: 19 (57.6%) increased methylation and 14 (42.4%) decreased methylation in association with ≥ one SES factor. Placentas from female pregnancies showed more robust differential CpG methylation than placentas from male pregnancies. Maternal SES adversity was associated with differential methylation of genes involved in gene transcription and placental function potentially altering immunity and stress response.