Cesarean delivery and hematopoietic stem cell epigenetics in the newborn infant: Implications for future health?

Malin Almgren, Titus Schlinzig, David Gomez-Cabrero, Agneta Gunnar, Mikael Sundin, Stefan Johansson, Mikael Norman, Tomas J. Ekström

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61 Scopus citations


Objective Cesarean section (CS) has been associated with a greater risk for asthma, diabetes, and cancer later in life. Although elective CS continues to rise, it is unclear whether and how it may contribute to compromised future health. Our aim was to investigate the influence of mode of delivery on the epigenetic state in neonatal hematopoietic stem cells. Study Design This was an observational study of 64 healthy, singleton, newborn infants (33 boys) born at term. Cord blood was sampled after elective CS (n = 27) and vaginal delivery. Global deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation in hematopoietic stem cells (CD34+) was determined by luminometric methylation assay, and genome-wide, locus-specific DNA methylation analysis was performed by Illumina Infinium 450K (Illumina, San Diego, CA), validated by bisulfite-pyrosequencing. Results CD34+ cells from infants delivered by CS were globally more DNA methylated (+2%) than DNA from infants delivered vaginally (P =.02). In relation to mode of delivery, a locus-specific analysis identified 343 loci with a difference in DNA methylation of 10% or greater (P
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502.e1-502.e8
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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