Increased DNA methylation near TREM2 is consistently seen in the superior temporal gyrus in Alzheimer's disease brain

Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Nov;47:35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.07.008. Epub 2016 Jul 16.


Although mutations within the TREM2 gene have been robustly associated with Alzheimer's disease, it is not known whether alterations in the regulation of this gene are also involved in pathogenesis. Here, we present data demonstrating increased DNA methylation in the superior temporal gyrus in Alzheimer's disease brain at a CpG site located 289 bp upstream of the transcription start site of the TREM2 gene in 3 independent study cohorts using 2 different technologies (Illumina Infinium 450K methylation beadchip and pyrosequencing). A meta-analysis across all 3 cohorts reveals consistent AD-associated hypermethylation (p = 3.47E-08). This study highlights that extending genetic studies of TREM2 in AD to investigate epigenetic changes may nominate additional mechanisms by which disruption to this gene increases risk.

Keywords: AD; Alzheimer's disease; Braak stage; Brain; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; TREM2.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Cohort Studies
  • CpG Islands / genetics
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM2 protein, human