Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2022 Jun 29;44(7):2868-2878. doi: 10.3390/cimb44070197.
Molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH) is a qualitative disturbance of the enamel of the permanent molars and/or incisors. Its etiology is not clearly defined but is connected with different factors occurring before and after birth. It remains difficult to identify a single factor or group of factors, and the problem is further complicated by various overlapping mechanisms. In this study, we attempted to determine whether DNA methylation-an epigenetic mechanism-plays a key role in the etiology of MIH. We collected the epithelium of the oral mucosa from children with MIH and healthy individuals and analyzed its global DNA methylation level in each child using a 5-mC DNA ELISA kit after DNA isolation. There was no statistically significant difference between the global DNA methylation levels in the study and control groups. Then, we also analyzed the associations of the DNA methylation levels with different prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors, using appropriate statistical methods. Factors such as number of pregnancies, number of births, type of delivery, varicella infection (under 3 years old), and high fever (under 3 years old) were significantly important. This work can be seen as the first step towards further studies of the epigenetic background of the MIH etiology.