Epigenetic clocks in the pediatric population
Published: 14 September 2021
Abstract: Recent research efforts have provided compelling evidence of genome-wide DNA methylation alterations in pediatrics. It is currently well established that epigenetic clocks, composed of DNA methylation sites, can estimate the gestational and chronological age of cells and tissues from different ages. Also, extensive research is aimed at their correlation with early life exposure and pediatric diseases. This review aimed to systematically summarize the epigenetic clocks in the pediatric population. Publications were collected from PubMed and Web of Science databases up to Apr 2021. Epigenetic clocks, DNA methylation clocks, epigenetic age acceleration or deceleration, pediatric and the pediatric population were used as search criteria. Here, we first review the currently applicative pediatric epigenetic clocks. We then highlight the interpretation for epigenetic age deviations in the pediatric population and their association with external factors, developmental trajectories, and pediatric diseases. Considering the remaining unknown of pediatric clocks, research strategies into them are also discussed. In all, pediatric epigenetic clocks may act as potent tools to understand development, growth and diseases in early life.
Keywords: Epigenetic clocks / DNA methylation / Early life / Neonates / Children / Epigenetic age acceleration
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