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Genetic and environmental determinants of variation in the plasma lipidome of older Australian twins

Wong, M.W.K., Thalamuthu, A., Braidy, N., Mather, K.A., Liu, Y., Ciobanu, L., Baune, B.T., Armstrong, N.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-4477-293X, Kwok, J., Schofield, P., Wright, M.J., Ames, D., Pickford, R., Lee, T., Poljak, A. and Sachdev, P.S. (2020) Genetic and environmental determinants of variation in the plasma lipidome of older Australian twins. eLife, 9 . e58954.

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The critical role of blood lipids in a broad range of health and disease states is well recognised but less explored is the interplay of genetics and environment within the broader blood lipidome. We examined heritability of the plasma lipidome among healthy older-aged twins (75 monozygotic/55 dizygotic pairs) enrolled in the Older Australian Twins Study (OATS) and explored corresponding gene expression and DNA methylation associations. 27/209 lipids (13.3%) detected by liquid chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were significantly heritable under the classical ACE twin model (h2 = 0.28–0.59), which included ceramides (Cer) and triglycerides (TG). Relative to non-significantly heritable TGs, heritable TGs had a greater number of associations with gene transcripts, not directly associated with lipid metabolism, but with immune function, signalling and transcriptional regulation. Genome-wide average DNA methylation (GWAM) levels accounted for variability in some non-heritable lipids. We reveal a complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences on the ageing plasma lipidome.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics
Publisher: eLife Sciences Publications
Copyright: © 2020 Wong et al.
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