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Longitudinal change in blood DNA epigenetic signature after smoking cessation.

TitleLongitudinal change in blood DNA epigenetic signature after smoking cessation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsKeshawarz A, Joehanes R, Guan W, Huan T, DeMeo DL, Grove ML, Fornage M, Levy D, O'Connor G
Date Published2021 Oct 06

Cigarette smoking is associated with epigenetic changes that may be reversible following smoking cessation. Whole blood DNA methylation was evaluated in Framingham Heart Study Offspring (n = 169) and Third Generation (n = 30) cohort participants at two study visits 6 years apart and in Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (n = 222) participants at two study visits 20 years apart. Changes in DNA methylation (delta β values) at 483,565 cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites and differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were compared between participants who were current, former, or never smokers at both visits (current-current, former-former, never-never, respectively), versus those who quit in the interim (current-former). Interim quitters had more hypermethylation at four CpGs annotated to , one CpG annotated to , and one intergenic CpG (cg21566642) compared with current-current smokers (FDR < 0.02 for all), and two significant DMRs were identified. While there were no significant differentially methylated CpGs in the comparison of interim quitters and former-former smokers, 106 DMRs overlapping with small nucleolar RNA were identified. As compared with all non-smokers, current-current smokers additionally had more hypermethylation at two CpG sites annotated to and , respectively, and another intergenic CpG (cg14339116). Gene transcripts associated with smoking cessation were implicated in immune responses, cell homoeostasis, and apoptosis. Smoking cessation is associated with early reversion of blood DNA methylation changes at CpG sites annotated to and towards those of never smokers. Associated gene expression suggests a role of longitudinal smoking-related DNA methylation changes in immune response processes.

Alternate JournalEpigenetics
PubMed ID34570667