Obese status is associated with accelerated DNA methylation change in peripheral blood of senior dogs

Res Vet Sci. 2021 Oct:139:193-199. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2021.07.024. Epub 2021 Jul 24.


Obesity and its associated comorbidities constitute a major and growing health problem worldwide not only involved with people but also dogs and cats. Although few genetic mutations have been associated with obesity in dogs, molecular mechanism remains to be clearly understood. Given the fact that DNA methylation leads to gene expression variability and has plasticity affected by metabolic phenotypes such as obesity in human, the objective of this study is to identify obesity-associated differentially methylated cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) dinucleotide sites in dogs. With genome-wide DNA methylation analysis using next-generation sequencing for blood samples from fourteen Miniature dachshunds with body condition score (BCS) 4-5 and BCS ≥6, over 100,000 sites could be analysed to identify genomic locations of differentially methylated CpG sites. As a result, 191 differentially methylated CpG sites (89 CpG sites were hypermethylated in BCS ≥6 and 102 were hypermethylated in BCS 4-5) were identified. These sites included promoter regions of Kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R) and Calcyphosine 2 (CAPS2) genes which were subsequently validated by bisulfite-pyrosequencing for another set of 157 dog blood samples. KISS1R methylation levels were found to be higher in BCS ≥6 group than BCS 4-5 in senior (>84 months) dogs. Especially male dogs but not female dogs as well as uncastrated male dogs but not castrated male dogs showed this trend. DNA methylation of KISS1R gene will be useful for understanding of comprehensive epigenetic change in obese dogs.

Keywords: DNA methylation; Dog; Epigenetics; Genome-wide profiling; Obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation* / genetics
  • Dog Diseases* / genetics
  • Dogs
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity* / genetics
  • Obesity* / veterinary


  • CAPS2 protein, human
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins