Abstract Title:

Epigenetic modulation at birth - altered DNA-methylation in white blood cells after Caesarean section.

Abstract Source:

Acta Paediatr. 2009 Jul ;98(7):1096-9. PMID: 19638013

Abstract Author(s):

T Schlinzig, S Johansson, A Gunnar, T J Ekström, M Norman

Article Affiliation:

Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


AIM: Delivery by C-section (CS) has been associated with increased risk for allergy, diabetes and leukaemia. Whereas the underlying cause is unknown, epigenetic change of the genome has been suggested as a candidate molecular mechanism for perinatal contributions to later disease risk. We hypothesized that mode of delivery affects epigenetic activity in newborn infants.

METHODS: A total of 37 newborn infants were included. Spontaneous vaginal delivery (VD) occurred in 21, and 16 infants were delivered by elective CS. Blood was sampled from the umbilical cord and 3-5 days after birth. DNA-methylation was analyzed in leucocytes.

RESULTS: Infants born by CS exhibited higher DNA-methylation in leucocytes compared with that of those born by VD (p<0.001). After VD, newborn infants exhibited stable levels of DNA-methylation, as evidenced by comparing cord blood values with those 3-5 days after birth (p = 0.55). On postnatal days 3-5, DNA-methylation had decreased in the CS group (p = 0.01) and was no longer significantly different from that of VD (p = 0.10).

CONCLUSION: DNA-methylation is higher in infants delivered by CS than in infants vaginally born. Although currently unknown how gene expression is affected, or whether epigenetic differences related to mode of delivery are long-lasting, our findings open a new area of clinical research with potentially important public health implications.

Study Type : Human Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & receive The Dark Side of Wheat Ebook

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

The Dark Side of Wheat

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2023 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.