Almén MS, Nilsson EK, Jacobsson JA, Kalnina I, Klovins J, Fredriksson R, Schiöth HB
Gene 548 (1) 61-67 [2014-09-10; online 2014-07-11]
The combination of the obesity epidemic and an aging population presents growing challenges for the healthcare system. Obesity and aging are major risk factors for a diverse number of diseases and it is of importance to understand their interaction and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Herein the authors examined the methylation levels of 27578 CpG sites in 46 samples from adult peripheral blood. The effect of obesity and aging was ascertained with general linear models. More than one hundred probes were correlated to aging, nine of which belonged to the KEGG group map04080. Additionally, 10 CpG sites had diverse methylation profiles in obese and lean individuals, one of which was the telomerase catalytic subunit (TERT). In eight of ten cases the methylation change was reverted between obese and lean individuals. One region proved to be differentially methylated with obesity (LINC00304) independent of age. This study provides evidence that obesity influences age driven epigenetic changes, which provides a molecular link between aging and obesity. This link and the identified markers may prove to be valuable biomarkers for the understanding of the molecular basis of aging, obesity and associated diseases.