Skip to main content
Publications of the Week

Integration of DNA Methylation Patterns and Genetic Variation in Human Pediatric Tissues Help Inform EWAS Design and Interpretation

By January 7, 2019No Comments

The widespread use of accessible peripheral tissues for epigenetic analyses has prompted increasing interest in the study of tissue-specific DNA methylation (DNAm) variation in human populations. To date, characterizations of inter-individual DNAm variability and DNAm concordance across tissues have been largely performed in adult tissues and therefore are limited in their relevance to DNAm profiles from pediatric samples. Given that DNAm patterns in early life undergo rapid changes and have been linked to a wide range of health outcomes and environmental exposures, direct investigations of tissue-specific DNAm variation in pediatric samples may help inform the design and interpretation of DNAm analyses from early life cohorts. In this study, we present a systematic comparison of genome-wide DNAm patterns between matched pediatric buccal epithelial cells (BECs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), two of the most widely used peripheral tissues in human epigenetic studies. Specifically, we assessed DNAm variability, cross-tissue DNAm concordance and genetic determinants of DNAm across two independent early life cohorts encompassing different ages.