Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of CD8+ T cells shows a distinct epigenetic signature to CD4+ T cells in multiple sclerosis patients

Maltby, Vicki E., Graves, Moira C., Lea, Rodney A., Benton, Miles C., Sanders, Katherine A., Tajouri, Lotti, Scott, Rodney J., & Lechner-Scott, Jeannette (2015) Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of CD8+ T cells shows a distinct epigenetic signature to CD4+ T cells in multiple sclerosis patients. Clinical Epigenetics, 7, Article Number-118.

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to be a T cell-mediated autoimmune disorder. MS pathogenesis is likely due to a genetic predisposition triggered by a variety of environmental factors. Epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, provide a logical interface for environmental factors to influence the genome. In this study we aim to identify DNA methylation changes associated with MS in CD8+ T cells in 30 relapsing remitting MS patients and 28 healthy blood donors using Illumina 450K methylation arrays.


Seventy-nine differentially methylated CpGs were associated with MS. The methylation profile of CD8+ T cells was distinctive from our previously published data on CD4+ T cells in the same cohort. Most notably, there was no major CpG effect at the MS risk gene HLA-DRB1 locus in the CD8+ T cells.


CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T cells have distinct DNA methylation profiles. This case–control study highlights the importance of distinctive cell subtypes when investigating epigenetic changes in MS and other complex diseases.

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ID Code: 94565
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: epigenetics, multiple sclerosis, CD8+ T cells, methylation
DOI: 10.1186/s13148-015-0152-7
ISSN: 1868-7083
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: 2015 Maltby et al.
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Deposited On: 07 Apr 2016 00:48
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2016 23:01

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