Navigation Links
DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain
Date:4/8/2014

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone and showing signs of anxiety are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues.

The proof-of-concept study, reported online ahead of print in the June issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology, offers what the research team calls the first evidence that epigenetic changes that alter the way genes function without changing their underlying DNA sequence and are detectable in blood mirror alterations in brain tissue linked to underlying psychiatric diseases.

The new study reports only on so-called epigenetic changes to a single stress response gene called FKBP5, which has been implicated in depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the researchers say they have discovered the same blood and brain matches in dozens more genes, which regulate many important processes in the brain.

"Many human studies rely on the assumption that disease-relevant epigenetic changes that occur in the brain which is largely inaccessible and difficult to test also occur in the blood, which is easily accessible," says study leader Richard S. Lee, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "This research on mice suggests that the blood can legitimately tell us what is going on in the brain, which is something we were just assuming before, and could lead us to better detection and treatment of mental disorders and for a more empirical way to test whether medications are working."

For the study, the Johns Hopkins team worked with mice with a rodent version of Cushing's disease, which is marked by the overproduction and release of cortisol, the primary stress hormone also called glucocorticoid. For four weeks, the mice were given different doses of stress hormones in their drinking water to assess epigenetic changes to FKBP5. The researchers took blood samples weekly to measure the changes and then dissected the brains at the end of the month to study what changes were occurring in the hippocampus as a result of glucocorticoid exposure. The hippocampus, in both mice and humans, is vital to memory formation, information storage and organizational abilities.

The measurements showed that the more stress hormones the mice got, the greater the epigenetic changes in the blood and brain tissue, although the scientists say the brain changes occurred in a different part of the gene than expected. This was what made finding the blood-brain connection very challenging, Lee says.

Also, the more stress hormone, the more RNA from the FKBP5 gene was expressed in the blood and brain, and the greater the association with depression. However, it was the underlying epigenetic changes that proved to be more robust. This is important, because while RNA levels may return to normal after stress hormone levels decrease or change due to small fluctuations in hormone levels, epigenetic changes persist, reflect overall stress hormone exposure and predict how much RNA will be made when stress hormone levels increase.

The team of researchers used an epigenetic assay previously developed in their laboratory that requires just one drop of blood to accurately assess overall exposure to stress hormone over 30 days. Elevated levels of stress hormone exposure are considered a risk factor for mental illness in humans and other mammals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New study presents evidence that blood pressure should be measured in both arms
2. Interactions between drugs can also be measured at lowest doses
3. Study estimates proportion of adults affected by new blood pressure guideline
4. Adjuvant chemotherapy increases markers of molecular aging in the blood of BC survivors
5. Whether they reduce fat or not, obesity programs lower kids blood pressure
6. Simple blood test may predict if a child will become obese
7. Model predicts blood glucose levels 30 minutes later
8. Virginia Tech scientists out for blood when it comes to stopping malaria
9. Researchers identify potential new therapeutic target for controlling high blood sugar
10. Tequila plant is possible sweetener for diabetics -- helps reduce blood sugar, weight
11. New knowledge: Blood poisoning increases the risk of blood clots
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Sublime Beauty® is offering a ... the same product) for 50% off. The discount is applied to the product with lesser ... is given to those who purchase $250 or more in products. , "So many women ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ProText Layouts is ... Final Cut Pro X . With ProText Layouts, video editors can create an ... match the length and scale of texts. Creating text-based videos have never been ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... , ... Head Over Heels Athletic Arts’ gymnast, Brooklyn Varize, has qualified to ... at the University of Montana on April 28-May 1. Varize will compete on Saturday ... order to qualify, Varize needed to place top seven all-around in her respective age ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... The ARRS ... attracting medical professionals from around the globe who attended a week’s worth of ... Sunday, April 17 included the introduction of the 2016 ARRS Distinguished Educator, Dr. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... Greener Hydroponics is now offering a large selection of ... professional organic farmers and nurseries according to Sales Manager Joe Steele who says, “Now ... goal is to offer wholesale level pricing and ultra-fast shipping for growers of any ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- The blood testing market in China ... and The Freedonia Group in a recent report.  The ... healthcare research firm said that China ... and in improving testing at the provincial level.   The ... Blood Testing Market in China , which utilized ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral drug delivery ... upcoming PIONEERS 2016 conference, presented by Joseph Gunnar ... New York . Nadav Kidron , ... conference. Presentation Details:   PIONEERS ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... New market research titled ... report that provides an overview of the Osteoarthritis,s ... identifying new targets and MOAs to produce first-in-class ... in this H1 2016 Osteoarthritis Pipeline report include ... Abiogen Pharma S.p.A., Ablynx NV, Achelios Therapeutics, Inc., ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: