DNA methylation aging and transcriptomic studies in horses

Steve Horvath, Amin Haghani, Sichong Peng, Erin N. Hales, Joseph A. Zoller, Ken Raj, Brenda Larison, Todd R. Robeck, Jessica L. Petersen, Rebecca R. Bellone, Carrie J. Finno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cytosine methylation patterns have not yet been thoroughly studied in horses. Here, we profile n = 333 samples from 42 horse tissue types at loci that are highly conserved between mammalian species using a custom array (HorvathMammalMethylChip40). Using the blood and liver tissues from horses, we develop five epigenetic aging clocks: a multi-tissue clock, a blood clock, a liver clock and two dual-species clocks that apply to both horses and humans. In addition, using blood methylation data from three additional equid species (plains zebra, Grevy’s zebras and Somali asses), we develop another clock that applies across all equid species. Castration does not significantly impact the epigenetic aging rate of blood or liver samples from horses. Methylation and RNA data from the same tissues define the relationship between methylation and RNA expression across horse tissues. We expect that the multi-tissue atlas will become a valuable resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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