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Type: Journal article
Title: Association of serotonin transporter gene AluJb methylation with major depression, amygdala responsiveness, 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism, and stress
Author: Schneider, I.
Kugel, H.
Redlich, R.
Grotegerd, D.
Bürger, C.
Bürkner, P.-.C.
Opel, N.
Dohm, K.
Zaremba, D.
Meinert, S.
Schröder, N.
Straßburg, A.
Schwarte, K.
Schettler, C.
Ambrée, O.
Rust, S.
Domschke, K.
Arolt, V.
Heindel, W.
Baune, B.
et al.
Citation: Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018; 43(6):1308-1316
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0893-133X
Statement of
Ilona Schneider, Harald Kugel, Ronny Redlich, Dominik Grotegerd, Christian Bürger, Paul-Christian Bürkner, Nils Opel, Katharina Dohm, Dario Zaremba, Susanne Meinert, Nina Schröder, Anna Milena Straßburg, Kathrin Schwarte, Christiane Schettler, Oliver Ambrée, Stephan Rust, Katharina Domschke, Volker Arolt, Walter Heindel, Bernhard T Baune, Weiqi Zhang, Udo Dannlowski and Christa Hohoff
Abstract: DNA methylation profiles of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) have been shown to alter SLC6A4 expression, drive antidepressant treatment response and modify brain functions. This study investigated whether methylation of an AluJb element in the SLC6A4 promotor was associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism, and recent stress. MDD patients (n=122) and healthy controls (HC, n=176) underwent fMRI during an emotional face-matching task. Individual SLC6A4 AluJb methylation profiles were ascertained and associated with MDD, amygdala reactivity, 5-HTTLPR/rs25531, and stress. SLC6A4 AluJb methylation was significantly lower in MDD compared to HC and in stressed compared to less stressed participants. Lower AluJb methylation was particularly found in 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 risk allele carriers under stress and correlated with less depressive episodes. fMRI analysis revealed a significant interaction of AluJb methylation and diagnosis in the amygdala, with MDD patients showing lower AluJb methylation associated with decreased amygdala reactivity. While no joint effect of AluJb methylation and 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 existed, risk allele carriers showed significantly increased bilateral amygdala activation. These findings suggest a role of SLC6A4 AluJb methylation in MDD, amygdala reactivity, and stress reaction, partly interwoven with 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 effects. Patients with low methylation in conjunction with a shorter MDD history and decreased amygdala reactivity might feature a more stress-adaptive epigenetic process, maybe via theoretically possible endogenous antidepressant-like effects. In contrast, patients with higher methylation might possibly suffer from impaired epigenetic adaption to chronic stress. Further, the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 association with amygdala activation was confirmed in our large sample.
Keywords: Amygdala; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Brain Mapping; Stress, Psychological; Emotions; Depressive Disorder, Major; DNA Methylation; Epigenesis, Genetic; Heterozygote; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Adult; Female; Male; Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins; Promoter Regions, Genetic; Facial Recognition
Description: Published online 20 December 2017
Rights: © 2018 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030077368
DOI: 10.1038/npp.2017.273
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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