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Age-related differences in monocyte DNA methylation and immune function in healthy Kenyan adults and children.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Age-related changes in adaptive and innate immune cells have been associated with a decline in effective immunity and chronic, low-grade inflammation. Epigenetic, transcriptional, and functional changes in monocytes occur with aging, though most studies to date have focused on differences between young adults and the elderly in populations with European ancestry; few data exist regarding changes that occur in circulating monocytes during the first few decades of life or in African populations. We analyzed DNA methylation profiles, cytokine production, and inflammatory gene expression profiles in monocytes from young adults and children from western Kenya. RESULTS: We identified several hypo- and hyper-methylated CpG sites in monocytes from Kenyan young adults vs. children that replicated findings in the current literature of differential DNA methylation in monocytes from elderly persons vs. young adults across diverse populations. Differentially methylated CpG sites were also noted in gene regions important to inflammation and innate immune responses. Monocytes from Kenyan young adults vs. children displayed increased production of IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12p70 in response to TLR4 and TLR2/1 stimulation as well as distinct inflammatory gene expression profiles. CONCLUSIONS: These findings complement previous reports of age-related methylation changes in isolated monocytes and provide novel insights into the role of age-associated changes in innate immune functions.

Authors: Dobbs KR, Embury P, Koech E, Ogolla S, Munga S, Kazura JW, Dent AE,
Journal: Immun Ageing; 2021 Mar 08 ; 18 (1) 11. doi:10.1186/s12979-021-00223-2
Year: 2021
PubMed: PMID: 33685492 (Go to PubMed)