Predicting perimenopause by analysing immunoglobulin G glycome
A new study published in iScience this month has shown association between perimenopause and changes in IgG glycome composition – an abundant antibody that has been shown to be a biomarker of an individual’s health.
The research was led by team from the Genos Glycoscience Research Laboratory in Zagreb, Croatia, Newson Health Menopause & Wellbeing in Stratford upon Avon, UK, and King’s College London. The study followed nearly 2000 women for 15 years and analysed their IgG glycans several times during that period, many samples were taken from TwinsUK which is the largest twin registry in the UK.
Analysis of the IgG glycome in multiple samples from the same individuals showed the antibody changing from an inflammation-suppressive to proinflammatory state. While this is common as we age, researchers saw this change happen more rapidly as women transitioned from a regular menstrual cycle to perimenopause and then menopause.
This change in IgG glycans is associated with many health risks that accompany menopause such as diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease. The IgG glycome change is identifiable years before disease occurs or any diagnosis would be sought. This suggest glycans and chronic inflammation is linked and the transformation of IgG glycans plays a part in developing disease.
These findings represent an exciting development in learning more about hormone changes and improving the future health of women. Founder of the Newson Health Menopause Society, and one of the authors of the study, Dr Louise Newson, said:
“It is really exciting to be involved in this study with Glycan Age. It shows that there is accelerated biological ageing during the perimenopause and menopause. More research needs to be done in this field and it would be amazing to have a test in the future to diagnose the perimenopause. We are also wanting to study if this ageing process reduces in women taking HRT.”