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BioMed Central, BMC Genomics, 1(16)

DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1915-4



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The idiopathic preterm delivery methylation profile in umbilical cord blood DNA

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Abstract Background Preterm delivery is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Two-thirds of preterm deliveries are idiopathic. The initiating molecular mechanisms behind spontaneous preterm delivery are unclear. Umbilical cord blood DNA samples are an easy source of material to study the neonatal state at birth. DNA methylation changes can be exploited as markers to identify spontaneous preterm delivery. To identify methylation differences specific to idiopathic preterm delivery, we assessed genome-wide DNA methylation changes in 24 umbilical cord blood samples (UCB) using the 450 K Illumina methylation array. After quality control, conclusions were based on 11 term and 11 idiopathic preterm born neonates. The differentially methylated positions (DMPs) specific for preterm/term delivery, neonatal sex, use of oxytocin and mode of initiation of labor were calculated by controlling the FDR p value at 0.05. Results The analysis identifies 1855 statistically significant DMPs between preterm and term deliveries of which 508 DMPs are also attributable to clinical variables other than preterm versus term delivery. 1347 DMPs are unique to term vs preterm delivery, of which 196 DMPs do not relate to gestational age as such. Pathway analysis indicated enrichment of genes involved in calcium signalling, myometrial contraction and relaxation pathways. The 1151 DMPs that correlate with advancing gestational age ( p