The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a heterogeneous, highly prevalent, and moderately heritable disorder. A complex and diverse genetic-environmental interplay converges to set apart a significant minority that is susceptible to MDD, from among those who experience shorter lived and less recurrent intensive and incapacitating forms of sadness.
Childhood maltreatment, through epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1), influences the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). We investigated whether childhood maltreatment and its severity were associated with increased methylation of the exon 1(F) NR3C1 promoter, in 101 borderline personality disorder (BPD) and 99 major depressive disorder (MDD) subjects with, respectively, a high and low rate of childhood maltreatment, and 15 MDD subjects with comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The term epigenetics describes mechanisms that can change the function of genes in the absence of an alteration of the actual DNA sequence. Among others, histone protein modifications (methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation) and DNA methylation constitute epigenetic mechanisms. Histone methylation and histone deacetylation in promoter regions of neurotrophic factors that have been associated with depression lead to their reduced expression.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with a high rate of developing serious medical comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. These are conditions that typically occur late in life, and it has been suggested that MDD may be associated with "accelerated aging." We review several moderators and mediators that may accompany MDD and that may give rise to these comorbid medical conditions.
Aberrant transcriptional regulation may be one of the key components of the pathophysiology of mood disorders. DNA methylation generally acts as an epigenetic gene silencing mechanism and is catalyzed by a group of enzymes known as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Several lines of evidence have suggested aberrant DNA methylation in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders and in animal models for psychiatric disorders. However, the involvement of DNMTs in the pathophysiology of mood disorders is not completely understood.
Major depression, because of its recurring and life-threatening nature, is one of the top 10 diseases for global disease burden. Major depression is still diagnosed on the basis of clinical symptoms in patients. The search for specific biological markers is of great importance to advance the method of diagnosis for depression. We examined the methylation profile of 2 CpG islands (I and IV) at the promoters of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene, which is well known to be involved in the pathophysiology of depression.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry: The Official Journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry
OBJECTIVES: Major depression is a complex disorder that involves genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors in its aetiology. Recent research has suggested that hippocampal neurogenesis may play a role in antidepressant action. However, careful examination of the literature suggests that the complex biological and psychological changes associated with depression cannot be attributed to disturbance in hippocampal neurogenesis alone.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling disorder that carries both a substantial personal burden as well as a social one. A better understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms in depression might provide a new framework for individually tailored pharmacologic treatment options. In this review we highlight current knowledge about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of depression and treatment implications.
In summary, depressed patients with a history of childhood trauma may have a distinct depression endophenotype characterized by a specific neurobiology and risk genotype that may be responsive to different treatment strategies than depressed patients without childhood adversity. Based on current findings, treatment strategies should be multimodal and include the following: 1.
Prenatal exposure both to maternal psychiatric illness and psychiatric medication has been linked with adverse child outcomes that affect physiological, emotional and psychiatric development. Studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, may facilitate these effects. In this report, we explore the association between maternal psychiatric illness and treatment during pregnancy and neonatal DNA methylation patterns in a prospectively-characterized clinical cohort of 201 dyads.