Investigation of differential HDAC4 methylation patterns in eating disorders

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The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between methylation patterns of the histone deacetylase 4 gene and eating disorders in a site previously associated with anorexia nervosa (AN). Women with AN (N=28) or bulimia nervosa (BN) (N=19) were age-matched and sex-matched to controls (N=45). We obtained saliva-derived DNA and use bisulfite pyrosequencing to examine region-specific methylation differences between cases and controls. The region assayed includes 15 CpGs. We found no significant association between the previously implicated CpG and either AN or BN. We found that three CpGs were nominally associated with AN (P=0.02–0.03); the largest difference was a 9% hypermethylation in AN. One CpG was nominally associated with BN (P=0.04), with 4% hypomethylation. None of these results remained significant after correction for multiple testing. We did not replicate previous findings, though through expanded coverage, we identified additional CpGs that were nominally associated with eating disorders.

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