Navigation Links
Pitt team finds molecular evidence of brain changes in depressed females
Date:9/16/2011

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 16 Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered molecular-level changes in the brains of women with major depressive disorder that link two hypotheses of the biological mechanisms that lead to the illness. Their results, published online this week in Molecular Psychiatry, also allowed them to recreate the changes in a mouse model that could enhance future research on depression.

Although women are twice as likely as men to develop depression and have more severe and frequent symptoms, very little research has focused on them or been conducted in other female animals, noted senior author Etienne Sibille, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine.

"It seemed to us that if there were molecular changes in the depressed brain, we might be able to better identify them in samples that come from females," he said. "Indeed, our findings give us a better understanding of the biology of this common and often debilitating psychiatric illness."

The researchers examined post-mortem brain tissue samples of 21 women with depression and 21 similar women without a history of depression. Compared to their counterparts, the depressed women had a pattern of reduced expression of certain genes, including the one for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and of genes that are typically present in particular subtypes of brain cells, or neurons, that express the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA.) These findings were observed in the amygdala, which is a brain region that is involved in sensing and expressing emotion.

In the next part of the project, the researchers tested mice engineered to carry different mutations in the BDNF gene to see its impact on the GABA cells. They found two mutations that led to the same deficit in the GABA subtype and that also mirrored other changes seen in the human depressed brain.

Dr. Sibille noted that researchers have long suspected that low levels of BDNF play a role in the development of depression, and that there also is a hypothesis that reduced GABA function is a key factor.

"Our work ties these two concepts together because we first show that BDNF is indeed low in depression and second that low BDNF can influence specific GABA cells in a way that reproduces the biological profile we have observed in the depressed brain," he said.

The team is continuing to explore the molecular pathway between BDNF and GABA and others that could be important in depression.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Duke team finds compounds that prevent nerve damage
2. Study finds genetic variant plays role in cleft lip
3. In a last stronghold for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline
4. Brown scientist finds coastal dead zones may benefit some species
5. Study finds high mortality of endangered loggerhead sea turtles in Baja California
6. Yale journal finds nanomaterials may have large environmental footprint
7. UCSB study finds physical strength, fighting ability revealed in human faces
8. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
9. Grapes may aid a bunch of heart risk factors, animal study finds
10. NC State finds new nanomaterial could be breakthrough for implantable medical devices
11. Pitt research finds that low concentrations of pesticides can become toxic mixture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  higi, the health IT company that operates ... America , today announced a Series B investment ... EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy ... transform population health activities through the collection and workflow ... higi collects and secures data today on behalf of ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar and ... international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport and eGates  ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative high security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 26, 2017 , ... ... company has acquired the worldwide rights to SQuEEZ heart function analysis software, and ... The U.S. Patent application was filed April 10, 2014 and uses high resolution ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... and software solutions that enable short-run digital printing, is proud to announce that ... its free GHS Wizard online software available at avery.com/GHS . The products ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 26, 2017 , ... ... variety of complex problems we face every day. This unique capability combines ... agronomists, geologists, chemists, and manufacturers to deliver unprecedented datasets for chemical analysis, quality ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... , ... July 25, 2017 , ... Fiberstar, Inc ... and beverage industry, offers Citri-Fi® 125. This natural citrus fiber is used to improve ... extend real tomato in sauces, condiments and spreads. Today, more than ever, consumers connect ...
Breaking Biology Technology: