Epigenome-wide analysis of aging effects on liver regeneration. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Aging is known to exert an effect on liver regeneration, with the ability of liver to regenerate displaying a significant decline over time. Liver physiological parameters such as liver volume, blood flow, and metabolism, as well as the ability to regenerate after injury have all been shown to decrease at old age in humans and model systems, with a number of molecular mechanisms proposed to be involved, including DNA methylation-dependent genome remodeling. To address how changes in DNA methylation mediate the adverse aging effect on liver regeneration, we searched for differentially methylated genomic regions (DMRs) in mouse livers co-regulated by aging and regeneration and determined their associated genes and enriched pathways. RESULTS: DMRs were identified using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS). Pathway analysis of aging DMR-mapped genes revealed two distinct phases of aging, 2-to-8 and 8-to-16months old (m/o). Regenerative DMR-mapped differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were enriched in pathways controlling cell proliferation and differentiation. Most DMRs shared by both aging and regeneration changed in the same methylation direction between 2 and 8m/o but in the opposite direction between 8 and 16m/o. Regenerative DMRs inversely affected by aging during 8-to-16m/o were found in the promoter/gene regions of 12 genes. Four regenerative DEGs were synchronously regulated by early aging and inversely regulated by mid-to-late aging DMRs. Lead DMR-mapped genes were validated by their expression profiles in liver aging and regeneration. CONCLUSIONS: Our study has uncovered new DMRs and gene targets inversely affected by liver aging and regeneration to explain the adverse aging effect on liver regeneration. These findings will be of fundamental importance to understand the epigenomic changes underlying the biology of aging on liver regeneration.

published proceedings

  • BMC Biol

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, J., Zhang, W., Liu, X., Kim, M., Zhang, K. e., & Tsai, R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Junying||Zhang, Wen||Liu, Xiaoqin||Kim, Minjee||Zhang, Ke||Tsai, Robert YL

publication date

  • February 2023