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DNA methylation in stress and depression: from biomarker to therapeutics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2021

Amanda J. Sales
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP), University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil
Francisco S. Guimarães
Affiliation:
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP), University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), University of São Paulo, Brazil
Sâmia R. L. Joca
Affiliation:
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Applied Neurosciences (NAPNA), University of São Paulo, Brazil Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation (DNAm) have been associated with stress responses and increased vulnerability to depression. Abnormal DNAm is observed in stressed animals and depressed individuals. Antidepressant treatment modulates DNAm levels and regulates gene expression in diverse tissues, including the brain and the blood. Therefore, DNAm could be a potential therapeutic target in depression. Here, we reviewed the current knowledge about the involvement of DNAm in the behavioral and molecular changes associated with stress exposure and depression. We also evaluated the possible use of DNAm changes as biomarkers of depression. Finally, we discussed our current knowledge limitations and future perspectives.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2021

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