Impact of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Genome-Wide DNA-Methylation in Natural Killer Cells—A Pilot Study
Department of Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine, Institute for Cardiology and Sports Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Department of Epigenetics and Tumor Genetics, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Kerperner Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, Kerperner Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(5), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10050380
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 19 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Epigenetic Modulation of Cell Functions by Physical Exercise)
Natural Killer (NK-) cells reveal a keen reaction to acute bouts of exercise, including changes of epigenetic modifications. So far, exercise-induced alterations in NK-cell DNA-methylation were shown for single genes only. Studies analyzing genome-wide DNA-methylation have used conglomerates like peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) rather than specific subsets of immune cells. Therefore, the aim of this pilot-study was to generate first insights into the influence of a single bout of exercise on genome-wide DNA-methylation in isolated NK-cells to open the field for such analyses. Five healthy women performed an incremental step test and blood samples were taken before and after exercise. DNA was isolated from magnet bead sorted NK-cells and further analyzed for global DNA-methylation using the Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip. DNA-methylation was changed at 33 targets after acute exercise. These targets were annotated to 25 genes. Of the targets, 19 showed decreased and 14 increased methylation. The 25 genes with altered DNA-methylation have different roles in cell regulation and differ in their molecular functions. These data give new insights in the exercise induced regulation of NK-cells. By using isolated NK-cells, exercise induced differences in DNA-methylation could be shown. Whether or not these changes lead to functional adaptions needs to be elucidated.