EVERSON RESEARCH GROUP - Investigating the Molecular Links Between Early Life Exposures and Children's Health Outcomes

Maternal smoking during pregnancy leaves a fingerprint on the placental methylome.

Check out our recent publication in collaboration with the PACE Consortium, where we characterized the impacts of tobacco smoke on the placental epigenome.

Working with seven international cohorts, we performed a meta-analysis of the impacts of maternal smoking during pregnancy on placental DNA methylation levels. Similar to what has previously been observed with cord blood, we identified hundreds of differentially methylated loci, of which numerous CpGs were also related to gene expression and birth outcomes. One CpG, cg27402634, exhibited dramatically lower methylations levels with exposure to tobacco smoke. Interestingly, while both the placental and cord blood methylomes are strongly influenced by this exposure, there is very limited overlap in the CpGs and genes that are affected, demonstrating substantial tissue-specific responses.

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