Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Childhood environment influences epigenetic age and methylation concordance of a CpG clock locus in British-Bangladeshi migrants

Stöger, Reinhard; Choi, Minseung; Begum, Khurshida; Leeman, Gregory; Emes, Richard D.; Melamed, Philippa; Bentley, Gillian R.


Minseung Choi

Khurshida Begum

Gregory Leeman

Richard D. Emes

Philippa Melamed

Gillian R. Bentley


Migration from one location to another often comes with a change in environmental conditions. Here, we analysed features of DNA methylation in young, adult British-Bangladeshi women who experienced different environments during their childhoods: a) migrants, who grew up in Bangladesh with exposure to comparatively higher pathogen loads and poorer health care, and b) second-generation British-Bangladeshis, born to Bangladeshi parents, who grew up in the UK. We used buccal DNA to estimate DNA methylation-based age (DNAm age) from 14 migrants and 11 second-generation migrants, aged 18–35years. ‘AgeAccel,’ a measure of DNAm age, independent of chronological age, showed that the group of women who spent their childhood in Bangladesh had higher AgeAccel (P=0.028), compared to their UK peers. Since epigenetic clocks have been proposed to be associated with maintenance processes of epigenetic systems, we evaluated the preference for concordant DNA methylation at the luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR/LHR) locus, which harbours one of the CpGs contributing to Horvath’s epigenetic clock. Measurements on both strands of individual, double-stranded DNA molecules indicate higher stability of DNA methylation states at this LHCGR/LHR locus in samples of women who grew up in Bangladesh. Together, our two independent analytical approaches imply that childhood environments may induce subtle changes that are detectable long after exposure occurred, which might reflect altered activity of the epigenetic maintenance system or a difference in the proportion of cell types in buccal tissue. This exploratory work supports our earlier findings that adverse childhood environments lead to phenotypic life history trade-offs.


Stöger, R., Choi, M., Begum, K., Leeman, G., Emes, R. D., Melamed, P., & Bentley, G. R. (2023). Childhood environment influences epigenetic age and methylation concordance of a CpG clock locus in British-Bangladeshi migrants. Epigenetics, 18(1), Article 2153511 .

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 23, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 10, 2022
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 10, 2022
Journal Epigenetics
Print ISSN 1559-2294
Electronic ISSN 1559-2308
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Article Number 2153511
Keywords Cancer Research; Molecular Biology
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations