Navigation Links
Researchers identify DNA region linked to depression
Date:5/15/2011

AUDIO: Researchers have identified a DNA region on chromosome 3 that appears to be related to depression. the discovery was made independently by groups at Washington University School of Medicine in...

Click here for more information.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and King's College London have independently identified DNA on chromosome 3 that appears to be related to depression.

Major depression affects approximately 20 percent of people at some point during their lives, and family studies have long suggested that depression risk is influenced by genetics. The new studies identify a DNA region containing up to 90 genes. Both are published May 16 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

"What's remarkable is that both groups found exactly the same region in two separate studies," says senior investigator Pamela A. F. Madden, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Washington University. "We were working independently and not collaborating on any level, but as we looked for ways to replicate our findings, the group in London contacted us to say, 'We have the same linkage peak, and it's significant.'"

Madden and the other researchers believe it is likely that many genes are involved in depression. While the new findings won't benefit patients immediately, the discovery is an important step toward understanding what may be happening at the genetic and molecular levels, she says.

The group at King's College London followed more than 800 families in the United Kingdom affected by recurrent depression. The Washington University group gathered data from 91 families in Australia and another 25 families in Finland. At least two siblings in each family had a history of depression, but the Australian and Finnish participants were studied originally because they were heavy smokers.

"Major depression is more common in smokers, with lifetime reports as high as 60 percent in smokers seeking treatment," says lead author Michele L. Pergadia, PhD, research assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University. "Smokers with depression tend to experience more nicotine withdrawal and may be more likely to relapse when trying to quit. Previous studies suggest that smoking and depression run together in families. In our study, we detected a region of the genome that travels with depression in families of smokers."

Meanwhile, the group in England was concerned primarily with recurrent depression. Although some of the families in the King's College London survey may have included heavy smokers, the researchers were primarily interested in people who were depressed.

"These findings are truly exciting," says Gerome Breen, PhD, lead author of the King's College London study. "For the first time, we have found a genetic region associated with depression, and what makes the findings striking is the similarity of the results between our studies."

From two different data sets, gathered for different purposes and studied in different ways, the research teams found what is known as a linkage peak on chromosome 3. That means that the depressed siblings in the families in both studies carried many of the same genetic variations in that particular DNA region.

Unlike many genetic findings, this particular DNA region has genome-wide significance. Often when researchers correct statistically for looking across the entire genome, what appeared originally to be significant becomes much less so. That was not the case with these studies.

Although neither team has isolated a gene, or genes, that may contribute to depression risk, the linkage peak is located on a part of the chromosome known to house the metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 gene (GRM7). Some other investigators have found suggestive associations between parts of GRM7 and major depression.

"Our linkage findings highlight a broad area," Pergadia says. "I think we're just beginning to make our way through the maze of influences on depression. The U.K. samples came from families known to be affected by depression. Our samples came from heavy smokers, so one thing we might do as we move forward is try to better characterize these families, to learn more about their smoking and depression histories, in addition to all of their genetic information in this area."

Pergadia says it may be worthwhile to start by combining the data sets from the two studies to see whether this region of chromosome 3 continues to exert a significant effect.

Although there is still work to do, the new studies are a very important step on the road to understanding how genes influence depression, according to Peter McGuffin, MB, PhD, director of the Medical Research Council Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King's College London.

"The findings are groundbreaking," says McGuffin, senior author of that study. "However, they still only account for a small proportion of the genetic risk for depression. More and larger studies will be required to find the other parts of the genome involved."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers identify DNA region linked to depression 
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse”: a ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, Gene Gaapf, a retired ... collections. , “I have been writing since high school and have many different ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Today, the Centers for Medicare & ... of CMS’s Alternative Payment Models (APMs) in 2017. Clinicians who participate in APMs are ... an important part of the Administration’s effort to build a system that delivers better ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Ocala, Florida (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... multi-million dollar 5,000 SF expansion and facility enhancement of their 503A compounding pharmacy ... To meet the growing demand of physicians and patients throughout the United States ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... the world, announces the launch of its newly redesigned website. The sleek new ... breakthroughs and trending news, vital information on upcoming virtual events and webinars, all ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... Cosmetic ... of plastic surgery procedures in order to make it easier for their readers to ... of the body they impact as well as the techniques used on those particular ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Palladian Health, ... has announced the launch of an opioid management ... guidelines on opioids and helps stem the growing ... often prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer pain (back ... serious risks and lack of evidence regarding long-term ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 2017 Avillion LLP, a co-developer and financier ... Weinberg , MD MBA as Chief Medical Officer. Dr Weinberg will ... . ... Weinberg has spent more than 17 years as a pharmaceutical and ... micro-cap biotech. Over the course of his career, he has interfaced ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... YORK , Jan. 19, 2017 Report ... Ophthalmic Devices Market? Which areas are going to grow ... potential revenues to 2026, assessing data, trends, opportunities and ... and graphs. Discover the most lucrative areas in the ... lets you assess forecasted sales across the all the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: