Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

Early Pregnancy Maternal Blood DNA Methylation in Repeat Pregnancies and Change in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Status—A Pilot Study.

PMID 25676578


Repeat pregnancies with different perinatal outcomes minimize underlying maternal genetic diversity and provide unique opportunities to investigate nongenetic risk factors and epigenetic mechanisms of pregnancy complications. We investigated gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)-related differential DNA methylation in early pregnancy peripheral blood samples collected from women who had a change in GDM status in repeat pregnancies. Six study participants were randomly selected from among women who had 2 consecutive pregnancies, only 1 of which was complicated by GDM (case pregnancy) and the other was not (control pregnancy). Epigenome-wide DNA methylation was profiled using Illumina HumanMethylation 27 BeadChips. Differential Identification using Mixture Ensemble and false discovery rate (<10%) cutoffs were used to identify differentially methylated targets between the 2 pregnancies of each participant. Overall, 27 target sites, 17 hypomethylated (fold change [FC] range: 0.77-0.99) and 10 hypermethylated (FC range: 1.01-1.09), were differentially methylated between GDM and control pregnancies among 5 or more study participants. Novel genes were related to identified hypomethylated (such as NDUFC1, HAPLN3, HHLA3, and RHOG) or hypermethylated sites (such as SEP11, ZAR1, and DDR). Genes related to identified sites participated in cell morphology, cellular assembly, cellular organization, cellular compromise, and cell cycle. Our findings support early pregnancy peripheral blood DNA methylation differences in repeat pregnancies with change in GDM status. Similar, larger, and repeat pregnancy studies can enhance biomarker discovery and mechanistic studies of GDM.