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DNA Methylation as a Marker of the Intra Uterine Environment

DNA Methylation as a Marker of the Intra Uterine Environment  content piece image

Using the Illumina Infinium Human Methylation27 BeadChip array, we examined genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in 206 term human placenta samples. Semi-supervised recursive-partitioned mixture modelling was employed to analyze data from a training series of placenta samples and identify methylation profiles associated with aberrant fetal growth.

A number of CpG loci were found to effectively differentially classify intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and small for gestational age (SGA) placentas from appropriate for gestation alage (AGA) placentas, and these associations were validated in a masked testing series of samples. Our work demonstrated that patterns of DNA methylation in human placenta are reliably and significantly associated with infant growth and serve as a proof of principle that methylation status in the human term placenta can function as a marker for the intrauterine environment.