Abstract: FR-PO553

Epigenetic Clock and Biological Aging during Preeclampsia

Session Information

Category: Hypertension

  • 1105 Hypertension: Clinical and Translational - Genetics and Epigenetics


  • Milic, Natasa, School of Medicine University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Garovic, Vesna D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder clinically characterized by hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg) and proteinuria (≥300 mg per day). Aberrant placental aging and increased placental senescence have been demonstrated in preeclampsia, as well as the role of epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, in control of maternal gene expression in normal pregnancies, which can be disrupted in preeclampsia. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that biological aging is accelerated in women with preeclampsia vs. those with normotensive pregnancies.


Biological age was measured by “epigenetic clock,” an estimate of DNA methylation age using the elastic net regression model, consisting of methylation values across 353 specific CpGs that were found to vary with age. Data from the 450k methylation of 44 blood samples from preeclamptic (n=11, mean age 30±7 years) and normotensive (n=34, mean age 31±4 years) patients during the first and second trimesters and at the time of delivery were used to compare longitudinally the estimated DNA methylation (epigenetic) ages during preeclamptic and normotensive pregnancies.


Biological age for women with normotensive pregnancies have not changed over the course of pregnancy (32±6 years for all time points). In contrast, biological age significantly increased over the course of preeclamptic pregnancies: first trimester, 30±8 years; second trimester, 31±9 years; and delivery, 32±9 years (p<0.05).


Our data suggest that preeclampsia may behave as a premature-aging-like state. These findings set the stage for future studies that may identify novel mechanistic pathways in preeclampsia.

Figure 1. Difference in biological aging (BA) during course of pregnancy in normotensive and preeclamptic pregnacies