No effect of weight loss on LINE-1 methylation levels in peripheral blood leukocytes from postmenopausal overweight women

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Sep;22(9):2091-6. doi: 10.1002/oby.20806. Epub 2014 Jun 13.


Objectives: Obesity and weight-loss are associated with methylation patterns in specific genes, but their effect on Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINE-1) methylation, a measure of global methylation is largely unknown.

Methods: Three hundred overweight/obese post-menopausal women (50-75 years) were part of a completed, 1-year randomized controlled trial, comparing independent and combined effects of a reduced-calorie weight-loss diet, and exercise program, versus control. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes collected at baseline and 12-months, and LINE-1 methylation analyzed by pyrosequencing. Mean changes between groups using generalized estimating equations and examined effects of weight-loss on LINE-1 methylation using stratified analyses (gained weight/no weight-loss [N = 84]; <5% [N = 45]; 5%-10% [N = 45]; >10% of baseline weight-loss [N = 126]) within each arm, adjusted by blood cell counts were compared. Associations between LINE-1 methylation and previously measured biomarkers, and anthropometrics were also examined.

Results: No significant difference in LINE-1 methylation levels was detected in any intervention group versus controls. The magnitude of weight-loss was not associated with LINE-1 methylation at 12-months. There were no associations between baseline characteristics of participants, or previously measured biomarkers, and LINE-1 methylation.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that lifestyle changes sufficient to significantly reduce weight over 12-months may not change LINE-1 DNA methylation levels.

Trial registration: NCT00470119.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Weight
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / blood
  • Overweight / genetics
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Postmenopause / blood
  • Postmenopause / genetics
  • Weight Loss / genetics*
  • Weight Reduction Programs

Associated data