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Abstract Title:

Differential DNA methylation in experienced meditators after an intensive day of mindfulness-based practice: Implications for immune-related pathways.

Abstract Source:

Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Feb ;84:36-44. Epub 2019 Nov 13. PMID: 31733290

Abstract Author(s):

R Chaix, M Fagny, M Cosin-Tomás, M Alvarez-López, L Lemee, B Regnault, R J Davidson, A Lutz, P Kaliman

Article Affiliation:

R Chaix

Abstract:

The human methylome is dynamically influenced by psychological stress. However, its responsiveness to stress management remains underexplored. Meditation practice has been shown to significantly reduce stress level, among other beneficial neurophysiological outcomes. Here, we evaluated the impact of a day of intensive meditation practice (t-t = 8 h) on the methylome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in experienced meditators (n = 17). In parallel, we assessed the influence of a day of leisure activities in the same environment on the methylome of matched control subjects with no meditation experience (n = 17). DNA methylationprofiles were analyzed using the Illumina 450 K beadchip array. We fitted for each methylation site a linear model for multi-level experiments which adjusts the variation between tand tfor baseline differences. No significant baseline differences in methylation profiles was detected between groups. In the meditation group, we identified 61 differentially methylated sites (DMS) after the intervention. These DMS were enriched in genes mostly associated with immune cell metabolism and ageing and in binding sites for several transcription factors involved in immune response and inflammation, among other functions. In the control group, no significant change in methylation level was observed after the day of leisure activities. These results suggest that a short meditation intervention in trained subjects may rapidly influence the epigenome at sites of potential relevance for immune function and provide a better understanding of the dynamics of the human methylome over short time windows.

Study Type : Human Study

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