BMC Med Genet 2015 May 1;16:29. Epub 2015 May 1.
Department of Biochemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
Background: Leptin (LEP) and adiponectin (ADIPOQ) genes encode adipokines that are mainly secreted by adipose tissues, involved in energy balance and suspected to play a role in the pathways linking adiposity to impaired glucose and insulin homeostasis. We have thus hypothesized that LEP and ADIPOQ DNA methylation changes might be involved in obesity development and its related complications. The objective of this study was to assess whether LEP and ADIPOQ DNA methylation levels measured in subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissues (VAT) are associated with anthropometric measures and metabolic profile in severely obese men and women. These analyses were repeated with DNA methylation profiles from blood cells obtained from the same individuals to determine whether they showed similarities.
Methods: Paired SAT, VAT and blood samples were obtained from 73 severely obese patients undergoing a bioliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. LEP and ADIPOQ DNA methylation and mRNA levels were quantified using bisulfite-pyrosequencing and qRT-PCR respectively. Pearson's correlation coefficients were computed to determine the associations between LEP and ADIPOQ DNA methylation levels, anthropometric measures and metabolic profile.
Results: DNA methylation levels at the ADIPOQ gene locus in SAT was positively associated with BMI and waist girth whereas LEP DNA methylation levels in blood cells were negatively associated with body mass index (BMI). Fasting LDL-C levels were found to be positively correlated with DNA methylation levels at LEP-CpG11 and -CpG17 in blood and SAT and with ADIPOQ DNA methylation levels in SAT (CpGE1 and CpGE3) and VAT (CpGE1).
Conclusions: These results confirm that LEP and ADIPOQ epigenetic profiles are associated with obesity. We also report associations between LDL-C levels and both LEP and ADIPOQ DNA methylation levels suggesting that LDL-C might regulate their epigenetic profiles in adipose tissues. Furthermore, similar correlations were observed between LDL-C and LEP blood DNA methylation levels suggesting a common regulatory pathway of DNA methylation in both adipose tissues and blood.