Lipid changes due to fenofibrate treatment are not associated with changes in DNA methylation patterns in the GOLDN study

Mithun Das, M. Ryan Irvin, Jin Sha, Stella Aslibekyan, Bertha Hidalgo, Rodney T. Perry, Degui Zhi, Hemant K. Tiwari, Devin Absher, Jose M. Ordovas, Donna K. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fenofibrate lowers triglycerides (TG) and raises high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc) in dyslipidemic individuals. Several studies have shown genetic variability in lipid responses to fenofibrate treatment. It is, however, not known whether epigenetic patterns are also correlated with the changes in lipids due to fenofibrate treatment. The present study was therefore undertaken to examine the changes in DNA methylation among the participants of Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study. A total of 443 individuals were studied for epigenome-wide changes in DNA methylation, assessed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 array, before and after a 3-week daily treatment with 160 mg of fenofibrate. The association between the change in DNA methylation and changes in TG, HDLc, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) were assessed using linear mixed models adjusted for age, sex, baseline lipids, and study center as fixed effects and family as a random effect. Changes in DNA methylation were not significantly associated with changes in TG, HDLc, or LDLc after 3 weeks of fenofibrate for any CpG. CpG changes in genes known to be involved in fenofibrate response, e.g., PPAR-a, APOA1, LPL, APOA5, APOC3, CETP, and APOB, also did not show evidence of association. In conclusion, changes in lipids in response to 3-week treatment with fenofibrate were not associated with changes in DNA methylation. Studies of longer duration may be required to detect treatment-induced changes in methylation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number304
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
� 2015 Das, Irvin, Sha, Aslibekyan, Hidalgo, Perry, Zhi, Tiwari, Absher, Ordovas and Arnett.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • DNA methylation
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Epigenetic changes
  • Fenofibrate
  • Lipid lowering drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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