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Neonatal Genome-Wide Methylation Patterns in Relation to Birth Weight in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort


Engel, Stephanie M.; Joubert, Bonnie R.; Wu, Michael C.; Olshan, Andrew F.; Haberg, Siri E.; Ueland, Per Magne; Nystad, Wenche; Nilsen, Roy M.; Vollset, Stein Emil; & Peddada, Shyamal D., et al. (2014). Neonatal Genome-Wide Methylation Patterns in Relation to Birth Weight in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, 179(7), 834-842. PMCID: PMC3969535


Although epigenetic regulation plays a critical role in embryonic development, few studies have examined the relationship of epigenome-wide methylation with fetal growth. Using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (Illumina, Inc., San Diego, California) in a substudy of 1,046 infants from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enrolled between 1999 and 2008, we examined epigenome-wide cord blood DNA methylation in relation to birth weight. In multivariable-adjusted robust linear regression models, we identified differential methylation at 19 cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpGs) associated with either decreased (AT-rich interactive domain 5B (MRF1-like) (ARID5B), 2 CpGs) or increased (x-ray repair complementing defective repair in Chinese hamster cells 3 (XRCC3), 4 CpGs) birth weight. ARID5B knockout mice have less adipose tissue and significantly lower weight in the postnatal period. XRCC3 plays a key role in the maintenance of chromosome stability and the repair of DNA damage. Although there are fewer data on the other implicated genes, many of these genes have been shown to have roles in developmental processes. This constitutes the largest and most robust study of birth weight using an epigenome-wide methylation platform and offers potential insights into epigenetic mechanisms of fetal growth.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Epidemiology


Engel, Stephanie M.
Joubert, Bonnie R.
Wu, Michael C.
Olshan, Andrew F.
Haberg, Siri E.
Ueland, Per Magne
Nystad, Wenche
Nilsen, Roy M.
Vollset, Stein Emil
Peddada, Shyamal D.
London, Stephanie J.