Altered DNA methylation in human placenta after (suspected) preterm labor

Epigenomics. 2020 Oct;12(20):1769-1782. doi: 10.2217/epi-2019-0346. Epub 2020 Oct 27.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine if alterations in DNA methylation in the human placenta would support suspected preterm labor as a pathologic insult associated with diminished placental health. Methods: We evaluated placental DNA methylation at seven loci differentially methylated in placental pathologies using targeted bisulfite sequencing, in placentas associated with preterm labor (term birth after suspected preterm labor [n = 15] and preterm birth [n = 15]), and controls (n = 15). Results: DNA methylation levels at the NCAM1 and PLAGL1 loci in placentas associated with preterm labor did differ significantly (p < 0.05) from controls. Discussion: Specific alterations in methylation patterns indicative of an unfavourable placental environment are associated with preterm labor per se and not restricted to preterm birth.

Keywords: DNA methylation; LOT1/PLAGL1; inflammation; placenta; preterm birth; suspected preterm labor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD56 Antigen / genetics
  • CD56 Antigen / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / genetics*
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • CD56 Antigen
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • NCAM1 protein, human
  • PLAGL1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins