Overlapping signatures of chronic pain in the DNA methylation landscape of prefrontal cortex and peripheral T cells

Renaud Massart, Sergiy Dymov, Magali Millecamps, Matthew Suderman, Stephanie Gregoire, Kevin Koenigs, Sebastian Alvarado, Maral Tajerian, Laura S. Stone, Moshe Szyf

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Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms in the brain and the immune system are associated with chronic pain. Genome-wide DNA methylation assessed in 9 months post nerve-injury (SNI) and Sham rats, in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as well as in T cells revealed a vast difference in the DNA methylation landscape in the brain between the groups and a remarkable overlap (72%) between differentially methylated probes in T cells and prefrontal cortex. DNA methylation states in the PFC showed robust correlation with pain score of animals in several genes involved in pain. Finally, only 11 differentially methylated probes in T cells were sufficient to distinguish SNI or Sham individual rats. This study supports the plausibility of DNA methylation involvement in chronic pain and demonstrates the potential feasibility of DNA methylation markers in T cells as noninvasive biomarkers of chronic pain susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19615
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2016
Externally publishedYes

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    Massart, R., Dymov, S., Millecamps, M., Suderman, M., Gregoire, S., Koenigs, K., Alvarado, S., Tajerian, M., Stone, L. S., & Szyf, M. (2016). Overlapping signatures of chronic pain in the DNA methylation landscape of prefrontal cortex and peripheral T cells. Scientific reports, 6, [19615]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep19615