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Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Marzi, SJ; Sugden, K; Arseneault, L; Belsky, DW; Burrage, J; Corcoran, DL; Danese, A; Fisher, HL; Hannon, E; Moffitt, TE; Odgers, CL; Mill, J ...
Published in: The American journal of psychiatry
June 2018

DNA methylation has been proposed as an epigenetic mechanism by which early-life experiences become "embedded" in the genome and alter transcriptional processes to compromise health. The authors sought to investigate whether early-life victimization stress is associated with genome-wide DNA methylation.The authors tested the hypothesis that victimization is associated with DNA methylation in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative 1994-1995 birth cohort of 2,232 twins born in England and Wales and assessed at ages 5, 7, 10, 12, and 18 years. Multiple forms of victimization were ascertained in childhood and adolescence (including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; exposure to intimate-partner violence; bullying; cyber-victimization; and crime).Epigenome-wide analyses of polyvictimization across childhood and adolescence revealed few significant associations with DNA methylation in peripheral blood at age 18, but these analyses were confounded by tobacco smoking and/or did not survive co-twin control tests. Secondary analyses of specific forms of victimization revealed sparse associations with DNA methylation that did not replicate across different operationalizations of the same putative victimization experience. Hypothesis-driven analyses of six candidate genes in the stress response (NR3C1, FKBP5, BDNF, AVP, CRHR1, SLC6A4) did not reveal predicted associations with DNA methylation in probes annotated to these genes.Findings from this epidemiological analysis of the epigenetic effects of early-life stress do not support the hypothesis of robust changes in DNA methylation in victimized young people. We need to come to terms with the possibility that epigenetic epidemiology is not yet well matched to experimental, nonhuman models in uncovering the biological embedding of stress.

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Published In

The American journal of psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1535-7228

ISSN

0002-953X

Publication Date

June 2018

Volume

175

Issue

6

Start / End Page

517 / 529

Related Subject Headings

  • Stress, Psychological
  • Psychiatry
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Humans
  • Genes
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • DNA Methylation
  • Crime Victims
  • Child, Preschool
  • Child Abuse
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Marzi, S. J., Sugden, K., Arseneault, L., Belsky, D. W., Burrage, J., Corcoran, D. L., … Caspi, A. (2018). Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(6), 517–529. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060693
Marzi, Sarah J., Karen Sugden, Louise Arseneault, Daniel W. Belsky, Joe Burrage, David L. Corcoran, Andrea Danese, et al. “Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood.The American Journal of Psychiatry 175, no. 6 (June 2018): 517–29. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060693.
Marzi SJ, Sugden K, Arseneault L, Belsky DW, Burrage J, Corcoran DL, et al. Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood. The American journal of psychiatry. 2018 Jun;175(6):517–29.
Marzi, Sarah J., et al. “Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood.The American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 175, no. 6, June 2018, pp. 517–29. Epmc, doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060693.
Marzi SJ, Sugden K, Arseneault L, Belsky DW, Burrage J, Corcoran DL, Danese A, Fisher HL, Hannon E, Moffitt TE, Odgers CL, Pariante C, Poulton R, Williams BS, Wong CCY, Mill J, Caspi A. Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood. The American journal of psychiatry. 2018 Jun;175(6):517–529.
Journal cover image

Published In

The American journal of psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1535-7228

ISSN

0002-953X

Publication Date

June 2018

Volume

175

Issue

6

Start / End Page

517 / 529

Related Subject Headings

  • Stress, Psychological
  • Psychiatry
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Humans
  • Genes
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • DNA Methylation
  • Crime Victims
  • Child, Preschool
  • Child Abuse