Background: The importance of cell type-specific epigenetic variation of non-coding regions in neuropsychiatric disorders is increasingly appreciated, yet data from disease brains are conspicuously lacking. We generate cell type-specific whole-genome methylomes (N = 95) and transcriptomes (N = 89) from neurons and oligodendrocytes obtained from brain tissue of patients with schizophrenia and matched controls. Results: The methylomes of the two cell types are highly distinct, with the majority of differential DNA methylation occurring in non-coding regions. DNA methylation differences between cases and controls are subtle compared to cell type differences, yet robust against permuted data and validated in targeted deep-sequencing analyses. Differential DNA methylation between control and schizophrenia tends to occur in cell type differentially methylated sites, highlighting the significance of cell type-specific epigenetic dysregulation in a complex neuropsychiatric disorder. Conclusions: Our results provide novel and comprehensive methylome and transcriptome data from distinct cell populations within patient-derived brain tissues. This data clearly demonstrate that cell type epigenetic-differentiated sites are preferentially targeted by disease-associated epigenetic dysregulation. We further show reduced cell type epigenetic distinction in schizophrenia.
- Brain cell type
- DNA methylation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cell Biology