Nilsson EK, Boström AE, Mwinyi J, Schiöth HB
OMICS 20 (6) 334-342 [2016-06-00; online 2016-06-17]
Despite an established link between sleep deprivation and epigenetic processes in humans, it remains unclear to what extent sleep deprivation modulates DNA methylation. We performed a within-subject randomized blinded study with 16 healthy subjects to examine the effect of one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD) on the genome-wide methylation profile in blood compared with that in normal sleep. Genome-wide differences in methylation between both conditions were assessed by applying a paired regression model that corrected for monocyte subpopulations. In addition, the correlations between the methylation of genes detected to be modulated by TSD and gene expression were examined in a separate, publicly available cohort of 10 healthy male donors (E-GEOD-49065). Sleep deprivation significantly affected the DNA methylation profile both independently and in dependency of shifts in monocyte composition. Our study detected differential methylation of 269 probes. Notably, one CpG site was located 69 bp upstream of ING5, which has been shown to be differentially expressed after sleep deprivation. Gene set enrichment analysis detected the Notch and Wnt signaling pathways to be enriched among the differentially methylated genes. These results provide evidence that total acute sleep deprivation alters the methylation profile in healthy human subjects. This is, to our knowledge, the first study that systematically investigated the impact of total acute sleep deprivation on genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in blood and related the epigenomic findings to the expression data.