Evaluation of DNAmAge in paired fresh, frozen, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded heart tissues

Paulina Pruszkowska-Przybylska*, Mikkel Eriksen Dupont, Stine Bøttcher Jacobsen, Morten Smerup, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen, Niels Morling, Jeppe Dyrberg Andersen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


The continued development in methylome analysis has enabled a more precise assessment of DNA methylation, but treatment of target tissue prior to analysis may affect DNA analysis. Prediction of age based on methylation levels in the genome (DNAmAge) has gained much interest in disease predisposition (biological age estimation), but also in chronological donor age estimation in crime case samples. Various epigenetic clocks were designed to predict the age. However, it remains unknown how the storage of the tissues affects the DNAmAge estimation. In this study, we investigated the storage method impact of DNAmAge by the comparing the DNAmAge of the two commonly used storage methods, freezing and formalin-fixation and paraffin-embedding (FFPE) to DNAmAge of fresh tissue. This was carried out by comparing paired heart tissue samples of fresh tissue, samples stored by freezing and FFPE to chronological age and whole blood samples from the same individuals. Illumina EPIC beadchip array was used for methylation analysis and the DNAmAge was evaluated with the following epigenetic clocks: Horvath, Hannum, Levine, Horvath skin+blood clock (Horvath2), PedBE, Wu, BLUP, EN, and TL. We observed differences in DNAmAge among the storage conditions. FFPE samples showed a lower DNAmAge compared to that of frozen and fresh samples. Additionally, the DNAmAge of the heart tissue was lower than that of the whole blood and the chronological age. This highlights caution when evaluating DNAmAge for FFPE samples as the results were underestimated compared with fresh and frozen tissue samples. Furthermore, the study also emphasizes the need for a DNAmAge model based on heart tissue samples for an accurate age estimation.

TidsskriftPLoS One
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)e0299557
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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