Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A sex-specific gene for depression

15.07.2003


Depression is the second-leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting nearly 10% of the population. According to George S. Zubenko, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and adjunct professor of biology at Carnegie Mellon University, women are twice as likely as men to develop depression, and genetic differences appear to account for some of that disparity.



These latest results build on research published by Dr. Zubenko and his team in October of 2002 that identified a small region of chromosome 2 – equal to 0.01 percent of the human genome – as the potential hiding place for a susceptibility gene for depression in women. "These findings confirm our earlier research suggesting the existence of susceptibility genes that have sex-limited effects on the vulnerability of women to developing severe depression," said Dr. Zubenko. "Over 80% of women in our study who inherited a particular variant of CREB1 developed depressive disorders, while a second version of this gene appeared to have protective effects."

CREB1 is a gene that encodes a regulatory protein called CREB that orchestrates the expression of large numbers of other genes that play important roles in the brain and the rest of the body as well. The widespread importance of CREB as a genetic regulator throughout the body suggests that the newly identified CREB1 variants may influence the development of additional psychiatric disorders related to depression, such as alcohol and other substance use disorders, as well as medical conditions that are associated with depression.


The identification of CREB1 leads Dr. Zubenko’s team to believe that genes for other components of cell signaling pathways that operate through CREB may be involved in mood disorders. Further study along those lines could lead to the identification of additional susceptibility genes for mood disorders and shed light on important differences in the pathophysiology of mood disorders in men and women.

Alterations in CREB1 expression have been reported in the brains of patients who died with major depression, those of animal models of major depression and related disorders, and in the brains of animals treated with antidepressant drugs. CREB also has been implicated in neuronal plasticity, cognition and long-term memory, abnormalities of which commonly occur in patients with major depression, may predispose patients to the onset or recurrence of major depression, and may be related to the eventual development of irreversible dementias like Alzheimer’s disease in some patients. Interactions of CREB with estrogen receptors might explain how inherited variants of CREB1 could affect the susceptibility of major depression only in women.

"The identification and characterization of susceptibility genes and their products will provide new opportunities for drug development and disease prevention, new information about the biology of mood and its regulation," said Dr. Zubenko. "Genotyping markers in chromosomal regions that harbor susceptibility genes may provide more immediate advances in the treatment of major depression. For example, individuals with particular genetic markers in these regions may respond better to particular current treatments than others. This strategy may enable clinicians to use genetic markers to better match individual patients to treatments to which they will optimally respond, while minimizing side effects."

Aimee Midei | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.naturesj.com/mp/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>