Placental CpG methylation of infants born extremely preterm predicts cognitive impairment later in life

Sloane K Tilley, Elizabeth M Martin, Lisa Smeester, Robert M Joseph, Karl C K Kuban, Tim C Heeren, Olaf U Dammann, T Michael O’Shea, Rebecca C Fry

PLoS One. 2018 Mar 7;13(3):e0193271.

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Genome-wide placental CpG methylation levels were compared between spontaneous versus indicated deliveries from EP births (EPTBs) (n = 84). Spontaneous EPTB associated with differential CpG methylation levels in 250 CpG sites (217 unique genes) with the majority displaying hypermethylation. The identified genes known to play a role in neurodevelopment. The placental CpG methylation levels for 17 of these sites predicted cognitive function at ten years of age. CONCLUSION: A hypermethylation signature is present in DNA from placentas in infants with spontaneous EPTB. CpG methylation levels of critical neurodevelopment genes in the placenta predicted later life cognitive function.