Epigenetic variation during the adult lifespan: cross-sectional and longitudinal data on monozygotic twin pairs

R.P. Talens, K. Christensen, H. Putter, G. Willemsen, L. Christiansen, D. Kremer, H.E.D. Suchiman, P.E. Slagboom, D.I. Boomsma, B.T. Heijmans

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The accumulation of epigenetic changes was proposed to contribute to the age-related increase in the risk of most common diseases. In this study on 230 monozygotic twin pairs (MZ pairs), aged 18-89years, we investigated the occurrence of epigenetic changes over the adult lifespan. Using mass spectrometry, we investigated variation in global (LINE1) DNA methylation and in DNA methylation at INS, KCNQ1OT1, IGF2, GNASAS, ABCA1, LEP, and CRH, candidate loci for common diseases. Except for KCNQ1OT1, interindividual variation in locus-specific DNA methylation was larger in old individuals than in young individuals, ranging from 1.2-fold larger at ABCA1 (P=0.010) to 1.6-fold larger at INS (P=3.7×10
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-703
JournalAging Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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