Biological marks of early-life socioeconomic experience is detected in the adult inflammatory transcriptome

Raphaele Castagne, Michelle Kelly-Irving, Gianluca Campanella, Florence Guida, Vittorio Krogh, Domenico Palli, Salvatore Panico, Carlotta Sacerdote, Rosario Tumino, Jos Kleinjans, Theo de Kok, Soterios A. Kyrtopoulos, Thierry Lang, Silvia Stringhini, Roel Vermeulen, Paolo Vineis, Cyrille Delpierre, Marc Chadeau-Hyam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consistent evidence is accumulating to link lower socioeconomic position (SEP) and poorer health, and the inflammatory system stands out as a potential pathway through which socioeconomic environment is biologically embedded. Using bloodderived genome-wide transcriptional profiles from 268 Italian participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, we evaluated the association between early life, young and later adulthood SEP and the expression of 845 genes involved in human inflammatory responses. These were examined individually and jointly using several inflammatory scores. Our results consistently show that participants whose father had a manual (as compared to nonmanual) occupation exhibit, later in life, a higher inflammatory score, hence indicating an overall increased level of expression for the selected inflammatory-related genes. Adopting a life course approach, these associations remained statistically significant upon adjustment for later-in-life socioeconomic experiences. Sensitivity analyses indicated that our findings were not affected by the way the inflammatory score was calculated, and were replicated in an independent study. Our study provides additional evidence that childhood SEP is associated with a sustainable upregulation of the inflammatory transcriptome, independently of subsequent socioeconomic experiences. Our results support the hypothesis that early social inequalities impacts adult physiology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38705
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological marks of early-life socioeconomic experience is detected in the adult inflammatory transcriptome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this