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:4/3/2017)... WASHINGTON , April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... single-cell precision engineering platform, detected a statistically ... cell product prior to treatment and objective ... highlight the potential to predict whether cancer ... prior to treatment, as well as to ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading provider of ... Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with a featured speaker ... Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist for the Best of Show award. ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and pathology workflow ... at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at the Wyndham ... its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research it led ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... QED Proof-of-Concept Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who ... Jersey and Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD , announced today ... and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal Health, has joined the firm ... he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior VP and General Manager of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: