Children's Greenness Exposure and IQ-Associated DNA Methylation: A Prospective Cohort Study

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  • Kyung-Shin Lee
  • Yoon-Jung Choi
  • Jin-Woo Cho
  • Sung-Ji Moon
  • Lim, Youn-Hee
  • Johanna-Inhyang Kim
  • Young-Ah Lee
  • Choong-Ho Shin
  • Bung-Nyun Kim
  • Yun-Chul Hong

Epigenetics is known to be involved in regulatory pathways through which greenness exposure influences child development and health. We aimed to investigate the associations between residential surrounding greenness and DNA methylation changes in children, and further assessed the association between DNA methylation and children's intelligence quotient (IQ) in a prospective cohort study. We identified cytosine-guanine dinucleotide sites (CpGs) associated with cognitive abilities from epigenome- and genome-wide association studies through a systematic literature review for candidate gene analysis. We estimated the residential surrounding greenness at age 2 using a geographic information system. DNA methylation was analyzed from whole blood using the HumanMethylationEPIC array in 59 children at age 2. We analyzed the association between greenness exposure and DNA methylation at age 2 at the selected CpGs using multivariable linear regression. We further investigated the relationship between DNA methylation and children's IQ. We identified 8743 CpGs associated with cognitive ability based on the literature review. Among these CpGs, we found that 25 CpGs were significantly associated with greenness exposure at age 2, including cg26269038 (Bonferroni-corrected p ≤ 0.05) located in the body of SLC6A3, which encodes a dopamine transporter. DNA methylation at cg26269038 at age 2 was significantly associated with children's performance IQ at age 6. Exposure to surrounding greenness was associated with cognitive ability-related DNA methylation changes, which was also associated with children's IQ. Further studies are warranted to clarify the epigenetic pathways linking greenness exposure and neurocognitive function.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Udgave nummer14
StatusUdgivet - 2021

ID: 275243667