Environmental and socio-cultural impacts on global DNA methylation in the indigenous Huichol population of Nayarit, Mexico

Diana Marcela Paredes-Céspedes, Aurora Elizabeth Rojas-García, Irma Martha Medina-Díaz, Kenneth S. Ramos, José Francisco Herrera-Moreno, Briscia Socorro Barrón-Vivanco, Cyndia Azucena González-Arias, Yael Yvette Bernal-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alterations of global DNA methylation have been evaluated in several studies worldwide; however, Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements-1 (LINE-1) methylation in genetically conserved populations such as indigenous communities have not, to our knowledge, been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between LINE-1 methylation patterns and factors such as pesticide exposure and socio-cultural characteristics in the Indigenous Huichol Population of Nayarit, Mexico. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 140 Huichol indigenous individuals. A structured questionnaire was used to determine general and anthropometric characteristics, diet, harmful habits, and pesticide exposure. DNA methylation was determined by pyrosequencing of bisulfite-treated DNA. A lower level of LINE-1 methylation was found in the indigenous population when compared to a Mestizo population previously studied by our group. This difference might be due to the influence of the genetic admixture and differing dietary and lifestyle habits. The males in the indigenous population exhibited increased LINE-1 methylation in comparison to the females. Sex and alcohol consumption showed positive associations with LINE-1 methylation, while weight, current work in the field, current pesticide usage, and folate intake exhibited negative associations with LINE-1 methylation. The results suggest that ethnicity, as well as other internal and environmental factors, might influence LINE-1 methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4472-4487
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Environmental factors
  • Ethnicity
  • Farmworkers
  • Huichol population
  • LINE-1 methylation
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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