Differential DNA methylation and lymphocyte proportions in a Costa Rican high longevity region

Background: The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has one of the highest old-age life expectancies in the world, but the underlying biological mechanisms of this longevity are not well understood. As DNA methylation is hypothesized to be a component of biological aging, we focused on this malleable epi...

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Main Authors: McEwen, Lisa M., Morin, Alexander M., Edgar, Rachel D., MacIsaac, Julia L., Jones, Meaghan J., Dow, William H., Rosero Bixby, Luis, Kobor, Michael S., Rehkopf, David H.
Format: Artículo
Language: Inglés
Published: 2018
Subjects:
Online Access: https://epigeneticsandchromatin.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13072-017-0128-2
http://hdl.handle.net/10669/75304
Summary: Background: The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has one of the highest old-age life expectancies in the world, but the underlying biological mechanisms of this longevity are not well understood. As DNA methylation is hypothesized to be a component of biological aging, we focused on this malleable epigenetic mark to determine its association with current residence in Nicoya versus elsewhere in Costa Rica. Examining a population’s unique DNA methylation pattern allows us to differentiate hallmarks of longevity from individual stochastic variation. These differences may be characteristic of a combination of social, biological, and environmental contexts. Methods: In a cross-sectional subsample of the Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study, we compared whole blood DNA methylation profiles of residents from Nicoya (n = 48) and non-Nicoya (other Costa Rican regions, n = 47) using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 microarray. Results: We observed a number of differences that may be markers of delayed aging, such as bioinformatically derived differential CD8+ T cell proportions. Additionally, both site- and region-specific analyses revealed DNA methylation patterns unique to Nicoyans. We also observed lower overall variability in DNA methylation in the Nicoyan population, another hallmark of younger biological age. Conclusions: Nicoyans represent an interesting group of individuals who may possess unique immune cell proportions as well as distinct differences in their epigenome, at the level of DNA methylation.