182 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the Illumina 450K array and a stringent statistical analysis with age and gender correction, we report genome-wide differences in DNA methylation between pathology-free regions derived from human multiple sclerosis-affected and control brains. Differences were subtle, but widespread and reproducible in an independent validation cohort. The transcriptional consequences of differential DNA methylation were further defined by genome-wide RNA-sequencing analysis and validated in two independent cohorts. Genes regulating oligodendrocyte survival, such as BCL2L2 and NDRG1, were hypermethylated and expressed at lower levels in multiple sclerosis-affected brains than in controls, while genes related to proteolytic processing (for example, LGMN, CTSZ) were hypomethylated and expressed at higher levels. These results were not due to differences in cellular composition between multiple sclerosis and controls. Thus, epigenomic changes in genes affecting oligodendrocyte susceptibility to damage are detected in pathology-free areas of multiple sclerosis-affected brains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

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