Distinct epigenomes in CD4 + T cells of newborns, middle-ages and centenarians

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 5;6:38411. doi: 10.1038/srep38411.


Age-related variations in genes and microRNAs expression and DNA methylation have been reported respectively; however, their interactions during aging are unclear. We therefore investigated alterations in the transcriptomes, miRNAomes and DNA methylomes in the same CD4+T cells from newborn (NB), middle-aged (MA) and long-lived (LL) individuals to elucidate the molecular changes and their interactions. A total 659 genes showed significantly expression changes across NB, MA and LL individuals, in which we identified four age-related co-expression modules with three hub networks of co-expressed genes and non-coding RNAs. Moreover, we identified 9835 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) including 7015 hypermethylated and 2820 hypomethylated DMRs in the NB compared with the MA, and 12,362 DMRs including 4809 hypermethylated and 7553 hypomethylated DMRs in the MA compared with the LL. The integrated analysis revealed a potential relationship between genes transcription and DNA methylation for many age- or immune-related genes, suggesting that DNA methylation-dependent transcription regulation is involved in development and functions of T cells during aging. Our results reveals age-related transcription and methylation changes and their interactions in human T cells from the cradle to the grave. Longitudinal work is required to establish the relationship between identified age-associated genes/DNA methylation and T cells aging phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Gene Ontology
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Transcriptome*


  • MicroRNAs