In blood samples from pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), observed methylation patterns accompanied acute inflammation and with treatment, change to resemble methylation patterns observed in patients without intestinal inflammation. Researchers obtained blood samples from 164 pediatric patients (aged 1‒17 years) with CD who participated in a North American study and were followed for 5 years. Participants without intestinal inflammation or symptoms were used as controls (n=74). DNA methylation patterns were analyzed at approximately 850,000 sites, in samples collected at time of diagnosis and 1‒3 years later. Among the findings:
- 1,189 CpGs that were differentially methylated between patients with CD at diagnosis and controls were identified.
- Methylation changes at these sites correlated with plasma levels of C-reactive protein.
- During treatment, alterations identified in methylation profiles at the time of diagnosis of CD more closely resembled patterns observed in controls.
- Most CpG methylation changes associated with CD disappeared with treatment of inflammation.
Somineni HK, Venkateswaran S, Kilaru B, et al. Blood-derived DNA methylation signatures of Crohn’s disease and severity of intestinal inflammation. [Published online ahead of print February 16, 2019]. Gastroenterology. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2019.01.270.
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