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    Association Analysis of NLRP3 Inflammation-Related Gene Promotor Methylation as Well as Mediating Effects on T2DM and Vascular Complications in a Southern Han Chinese Population. Zhou Zixing,Wang Lijun,Wen Zihao,Zheng Shaoling,Ye Xiaohong,Liu Dandan,Wu Jing,Zou Xiaoqian,Liu Yumei,Wang Yao,Dong Shirui,Huang Xiuxia,Du Xiuben,Zhu Kehui,Chen Xiaojing,Huang Shiqi,Zeng Chengli,Han Yajing,Zhang Baohuan,Nie Lihong,Yang Guang,Jing Chunxia Frontiers in endocrinology To explore the association between the methylation levels in the promoter regions of the NLRP3, AIM2, and ASC genes and T2DM and its vascular complications in a Southern Han Chinese population and further analyze their interaction and mediating effects with environmental factors in T2DM. A case-control study was used to determine the association between population characteristics, the methylation level in the promoter region of the NLRP3, AIM2, and ASC genes and T2DM and vascular complications. A mediating effect among genes-environment-T2DM and the interaction of gene-gene or gene-environment factors was explored. In the logistic regression model with adjusted covariants, healthy people with lower total methylation levels in the AIM2 promoter region exhibited a 2.29-fold [OR: 2.29 (1.28~6.66), = 0.011] increased risk of developing T2DM compared with higher-methylation individuals. T2DM patients without any vascular complications who had lower methylation levels (<methylation median) in NLRP3 CpG2 and AIM2 total methylation had 6.45 (OR: 6.45, 95% CI: 1.05~39.78, = 0.011) and 9.48 (OR: 9.48, 95% CI: 1.14~79.00, = 0.038) times higher risks, respectively, of developing diabetic microvascular complications than T2DM patients with higher methylation. Similar associations were also found between the lower total methylation of the NLRP3 and AIM2 promoter regions and macrovascular complication risk (NLRP3 OR: 36.03, 95% CI: 3.11~417.06, = 0.004; AIM2 OR: 30.90, 95% CI: 2.59~368.49, = 0.007). Lower NLRP3 promoter total methylation was related to a 17.78-fold increased risk of micro-macrovascular complications (OR: 17.78, 95% CI: 2.04~155.28, = 0.009). Lower ASC CpG1 or CpG3 methylation levels had significant partial mediating effects on T2DM vascular complications caused by higher age (ASC CpG1 explained approximately 52.8% or 32.9% of the mediating effect of age on macrovascular or macro-microvascular complications; ASC CpG3 explained approximately 38.9% of the mediating effect of age on macrovascular complications). No gene-gene or gene-environment interaction was identified in T2DM. Lower levels of AIM2 promoter total methylation might increase the risk of T2DM. NLRP3, AIM2, and ASC promoter total methylation or some CpG methylation loss might increase the risk of T2DM vascular complications, which merits further study to support the robustness of these findings. 10.3389/fendo.2018.00709