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Epigenetic Age in Male Combat-Exposed War Veterans : Associations with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Status

Verhoeven, Josine E ; Yang, Ruoting ; Wolkowitz, Owen M LU ; Bersani, Francesco S ; Lindqvist, Daniel LU ; Mellon, Synthia H ; Yehuda, Rachel ; Flory, Janine D ; Lin, Jue and Abu-Amara, Duna , et al. (2018) In Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 4(2). p.90-99
Abstract

DNA methylation patterns change with age and can be used to derive an estimate of "epigenetic age," an indicator of biological age. Several studies have shown associations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with worse somatic health and early mortality, raising the possibility of accelerated biological aging. This study examined associations between estimated epigenetic age and various variables in 160 male combat-exposed war veterans with (n = 79) and without PTSD (n = 81). DNA methylation was assessed in leukocyte genomic DNA using the Illumina 450K DNA methylation arrays. Epigenetic age was estimated using Horvath's epigenetic clock algorithm and Δage (epigenetic age-chronological age) was calculated. In veterans with PTSD (Δage... (More)

DNA methylation patterns change with age and can be used to derive an estimate of "epigenetic age," an indicator of biological age. Several studies have shown associations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with worse somatic health and early mortality, raising the possibility of accelerated biological aging. This study examined associations between estimated epigenetic age and various variables in 160 male combat-exposed war veterans with (n = 79) and without PTSD (n = 81). DNA methylation was assessed in leukocyte genomic DNA using the Illumina 450K DNA methylation arrays. Epigenetic age was estimated using Horvath's epigenetic clock algorithm and Δage (epigenetic age-chronological age) was calculated. In veterans with PTSD (Δage = 3.2), Δage was on average lower compared to those without PTSD (Δage = 5.0; p = 0.02; Cohen's d = 0.42). This between-group difference was not explained by race/ethnicity, lifestyle factors or childhood trauma. Antidepressant use, however, explained part of the association. In the PTSD positive group, telomerase activity was negatively related to Δage (β = -0.35; p = 0.007). In conclusion, veterans with PTSD had significantly lower epigenetic age profiles than those without PTSD. Further, current antidepressant use and higher telomerase activity were related to relatively less epigenetic aging in veterans with PTSD, speculative of a mechanistic pathway that might attenuate biological aging-related processes in the context of PTSD.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Cognitive Neuropsychiatry
volume
4
issue
2
pages
90 - 99
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • pmid:30397597
ISSN
2296-9209
DOI
10.1159/000491431
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ca0f31d6-a763-4681-9516-1602e29b7d18
date added to LUP
2019-05-30 14:34:00
date last changed
2019-06-03 16:57:55
@article{ca0f31d6-a763-4681-9516-1602e29b7d18,
  abstract     = {<p>DNA methylation patterns change with age and can be used to derive an estimate of "epigenetic age," an indicator of biological age. Several studies have shown associations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with worse somatic health and early mortality, raising the possibility of accelerated biological aging. This study examined associations between estimated epigenetic age and various variables in 160 male combat-exposed war veterans with (n = 79) and without PTSD (n = 81). DNA methylation was assessed in leukocyte genomic DNA using the Illumina 450K DNA methylation arrays. Epigenetic age was estimated using Horvath's epigenetic clock algorithm and Δage (epigenetic age-chronological age) was calculated. In veterans with PTSD (Δage = 3.2), Δage was on average lower compared to those without PTSD (Δage = 5.0; p = 0.02; Cohen's d = 0.42). This between-group difference was not explained by race/ethnicity, lifestyle factors or childhood trauma. Antidepressant use, however, explained part of the association. In the PTSD positive group, telomerase activity was negatively related to Δage (β = -0.35; p = 0.007). In conclusion, veterans with PTSD had significantly lower epigenetic age profiles than those without PTSD. Further, current antidepressant use and higher telomerase activity were related to relatively less epigenetic aging in veterans with PTSD, speculative of a mechanistic pathway that might attenuate biological aging-related processes in the context of PTSD.</p>},
  author       = {Verhoeven, Josine E and Yang, Ruoting and Wolkowitz, Owen M and Bersani, Francesco S and Lindqvist, Daniel and Mellon, Synthia H and Yehuda, Rachel and Flory, Janine D and Lin, Jue and Abu-Amara, Duna and Makotkine, Iouri and Marmar, Charles and Jett, Marti and Hammamieh, Rasha},
  issn         = {2296-9209},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {90--99},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Cognitive Neuropsychiatry},
  title        = {Epigenetic Age in Male Combat-Exposed War Veterans : Associations with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Status},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000491431},
  doi          = {10.1159/000491431},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2018},
}