Navigation Links
Study identifies changes to DNA in major depression and suicide
Date:7/30/2008

Autopsies usually point to a cause of death but now a study of brain tissue collected during these procedures, may explain an underlying cause of major depression and suicide. The international research group, led by Dr. Michael O. Poulter of Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario and Dr. Hymie Anisman of the Neuroscience Research Institute at Carleton University, is the first to show that proteins that modify DNA directly are more highly expressed in the brains of people who commit suicide. These proteins are involved in chemically modifying DNA in a process called epigenomic regulation. The paper is published in Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers compared the brains of people who committed suicide with those of a control group who died suddenly, from heart attacks and other causes. They found that the genome in depressed people who had committed suicide was chemically modified by a process that is normally involved in regulating the essential characteristics of all cells in the body. As Poulter explains, "We have about 40,000 genes in every cell and the main reason a brain cell is a brain cell is because only a small fraction of the genes are turned on. The remaining genes that are not expressed are shut down by an epigenetic process called DNA methylation."

The rate of methylation in the suicide brains was found to be much greater than that of the control group. Importantly, one of the genes they studied was shown to be heavily chemically modified and its expression was reduced. This particular gene plays a major role in regulating brain activity. "Interestingly, the nature of this chemical modification is long term and hard to reverse, and this fits with depression," says Poulter.

"The whole idea that the genome is so malleable in the brain is surprising. Finding that epigenetic mechanisms continue to influence gene expression is pretty unusual," says Poulter, who is also a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "These observations open an entirely new avenue of research and potential therapeutic interventions." The research was funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ante-partum bed rest moms get active in Case Western Reserve University study
2. Study suggests 86 percent of Americans could be overweight or obese by 2030
3. OSU study shows exposure to bad air raises blood pressure
4. New study spotlights National Institutes of Health grant outcomes for clinical research
5. Antimicrobial sutures reduce infections in brain shunt surgery, study finds
6. Plasma DNA level is a reliable marker of recurrent esophageal cancer, study finds
7. Landscape study may offer solutions for fire managers
8. Study: Typhoons bury tons of carbon in the oceans
9. Study shows parasites outweigh predators
10. Rutgers biologist to study worms in Amazon, glaciers
11. Study suggests past climate changes may have promoted the formation of new species in the Amazon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ... bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, ... aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... -- Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders ... technology respectively, today announced the launch of a project ... sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The American Medical ... Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach ... data were available when and where it was needed. The organization of health ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling ... her cruciate ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of ... board-certified veterinary surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... AVIV, Israel , May 24, 2016   MedyMatch ... providing physicians with artificial intelligence, real-time decision support tools in ... to present at the 2016 Israeli Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) ... of Israel,s 15th National Life Sciences ... 26th at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South ... week by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. ... years, and they are down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years ...
Breaking Biology Technology: