DNA methylation and the hygiene hypothesis: connecting respiratory allergy and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Sabine Langie, Jessica Timms, Patrick De Boever, Jill McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aims: The hygiene hypothesis states lack of infection in early-life suppresses immune system development, and is linked to respiratory allergy (RA) and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) risk. Little is known about underlying mechanisms, but DNA methylation is altered in RA and ALL, and in response to infection. We investigated if aberrant methylation may be in common between these diseases and associated with infection.

Methods: RA and ALL disease-associated methylation signatures were compared and related to exposure-to-infection-signatures.

Results: A significant number of genes overlapped between RA and ALL signatures (p=0.0019). Significant overlaps were observed between exposure-to-infection signatures and disease-associated signatures.

Conclusion: DNA methylation may be a mediating mechanism through which the hygiene hypothesis is associated with RA and ALL risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1519-1537
JournalEpigenomics
Volume11
Issue number13
Early online date19 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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