Researchers reveal possible molecular blood signature for suicide in major depression

Summary: Researchers have identified a blood biomarker that predicts suicide risk in patients with major depressive disorder. The biomarker can also help researchers understand the molecular changes in suicide victims.

Source: UC Irvine

A team of researchers led by the University of California, Irvine, along with members of the Pritzker Research Consortium, has developed an approach to identifying blood biomarkers that could predict the risk of suicide in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

The study, entitled “Identifying potential biomarkers of blood associated with suicide in major depressive disorder,” was published in Translational Psychiatry.

The results of the study show that unconserved blood can be used to detect specific biomarkers of suicide through a new approach to gene expression and an approach to quantifying gene expression that is less sensitive to the effects of RNA degradation. (NanoString).

In addition to identifying people most at risk for suicide, the results may help researchers understand the molecular changes in suicide victims.

“These blood biomarkers are an important step toward developing blood tests to identify patients at imminent risk of ending their lives,” said corresponding author Adolfo Sequeira, Ph.D., an associate researcher at the Department. of Psychiatry and Human Behavior from the ICU School of Medicine. Medication.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze blood and brain samples in a well-defined population of CT scans that show significant differences in gene expression associated with complete suicide.”

After analyzing data from blood and brain samples from suicide victims, the researchers found changes in gene expression in the stress response, including polyamine metabolism, circadian rhythm, immune dysregulation, and maintenance of telomeres.

The researchers used data obtained in collaboration with the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium of Unconserved Blood Samples (RNA) in combination with gene expression data from blood and brain samples from the same subjects. Subjects without a psychiatric diagnosis (all non-suicidal) and subjects with major depression who died by suicide or natural causes were included in the study.

In addition to identifying people most at risk for suicide, the results may help researchers understand the molecular changes in suicide victims. The image is in the public domain

Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes nearly 800,000 deaths a year. In the United States alone, suicide rates have risen more than 35 percent over the past 20 years, to more than 48,000 last year.

Suicide prevention strategies and current medications, while useful, have not slowed the rise in self-inflicted deaths. Many people do not reveal suicidal intentions despite frequent contact with health professionals.

An estimated 30 percent of those who die by suicide visit a health care provider for one month after the suicide event. There is also a dramatic increase in suicide in the days or weeks following discharge from psychiatric hospitals.

Therefore, there is a critical opportunity for health care providers to assess people at risk with a blood biomarker test to assess the intent of serious suicide.

About this research news on depression and suicide

Author: Press Office
Source: UC Irvine
Contact: Press Office – UC Irvine
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original research: Open Access.
“Identification of potential blood biomarkers associated with suicide in major depressive disorder” by Firoza Mamdani et al. Translational Psychiatry


Summary

Identification of potential blood biomarkers associated with suicide in major depressive disorder

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This shows a brain

Suicides have risen to more than 48,000 deaths a year in the United States. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most common diagnosis among suicides, and identifying those most at risk for suicide is an urgent challenge.

The aim of this study is to identify changes in gene expression associated with suicide in the brain and blood for the development of biomarkers for suicide.

Blood and brain were available for 45 subjects (53 blood samples and 69 dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) samples in total). Samples were collected from patients with MDD who died by suicide (MDD-S), MDD who died from other means (MDD-NS), and non-psychiatric controls.

We analyzed gene expression using RNA and the NanoString platform. In the blood, we identified 14 genes that significantly differentiated MDD-S from MDD-NS.

The six main genes expressed differently in the blood were: PER3, MTPAP, SLC25A26, CD19, SOX9, and GAR1. In addition, four genes showed significant changes in brain and blood between MDD-S and MDD-NS; SOX9 decreased and PER3 increased in MDD-S in both tissues, while CD19 and TERF1 increased in blood but decreased in DLPFC.

To our knowledge, this is the first study to look at matching blood and brain samples in a well-defined population of MDDs that demonstrate significant differences in gene expression associated with complete suicide.

Our results strongly suggest that blood gene expression is very informative for understanding molecular changes in suicide.

The development of a signature of biomarkers of suicide in the blood could help health professionals identify subjects at high risk of suicide.

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