Researchers uncover molecular pathways underlying depression


Researchers from Sahmyook University and other institutions have conducted a study to explore the molecular pathways underlying depression, using both mice and human models. They found that genes related to the interferon pathway, which regulates inflammation in the body, were associated with depression-like behavior in mice and with brain structural changes in humans. They also found that DNA methylation, a type of epigenetic modification, differed between patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls, and correlated with brain thickness in regions involved in emotions, cognition, vision, and sensory processing. These findings suggest that inflammation and immune-related processes in the brain play a significant role in depression, and that epigenetic factors may influence the expression of immune-related genes and their effect on brain structure. The study was published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity1.