A DNA methylation clock associated with age-related illnesses and mortality is accelerated in men with combat PTSD.
washington; isb; seattle; genomics; Aged; Aging; Cross-Sectional Studies; DNA Methylation; Epigenesis, Genetic; Epigenomics; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
DNA methylation patterns at specific cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites predictably change with age and can be used to derive "epigenetic age", an indicator of biological age, as opposed to merely chronological age. A relatively new estimator, called "DNAm GrimAge", is notable for its superior predictive ability in older populations regarding numerous age-related metrics like time-to-death, time-to-coronary heart disease, and time-to-cancer. PTSD is associated with premature mortality and frequently has comorbid physical illnesses suggestive of accelerated biological aging. This is the first study to assess DNAm GrimAge in PTSD patients. We investigated the acceleration of GrimAge relative to chronological age, denoted "AgeAccelGrim" in combat trauma-exposed male veterans with and without PTSD using cross-sectional and longitudinal data from two independent well-characterized veteran cohorts. In both cohorts, AgeAccelGrim was significantly higher in the PTSD group compared to the control group (N = 162, 1.26 vs -0.57, p = 0.001 and N = 53, 0.93 vs -1.60 Years, p = 0.008), suggesting accelerated biological aging in both cohorts with PTSD. In 3-year follow-up study of individuals initially diagnosed with PTSD (N = 26), changes in PTSD symptom severity were correlated with AgeAccelGrim changes (r = 0.39, p = 0.049). In addition, the loss of CD28 cell surface markers on CD8 + T cells, an indicator of T-cell senescence/exhaustion that is associated with biological aging, was positively correlated with AgeAccelGrim, suggesting an immunological contribution to the accelerated biological aging. Overall, our findings delineate cellular correlates of biological aging in combat-related PTSD, which may help explain the increased medical morbidity and mortality seen in this disease.
Institute for Systems Biology
Yang, Ruoting; Wu, Gwyneth W Y; Verhoeven, Josine E; Gautam, Aarti; Reus, Victor I; Kang, Jee In; Flory, Janine D; Abu-Amara, Duna; PTSD Systems Biology Consortium; Hood, Leroy; Doyle, Francis J; Yehuda, Rachel; Marmar, Charles R; Jett, Marti; Hammamieh, Rasha; Mellon, Synthia H; and Wolkowitz, Owen M, "A DNA methylation clock associated with age-related illnesses and mortality is accelerated in men with combat PTSD." (2021). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 5829.