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© Research
Publication : Brain, behavior, and immunity

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

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Brain, behavior, and immunity - 01 Feb 2020

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

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31733290

Link to DOI [DOI] – S0889-1591(19)30879-710.1016/j.bbi.2019.11.003

Brain Behav. Immun. 2020 Feb; 84(): 36-44

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 (t2-t1 = 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 methylation profiles 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 t1 and t2 for 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.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31733290