DNA methylation and inflammation marker profiles associated with a self-reported history of depression
Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium
Human Molecular Genetics
Oxford University Press (OUP)
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 22 May 2019 in compliance with publisher policy.
Depression is a common and disabling disorder, representing a major social and economic health issue. Moreover, depression is associated with the progression of diseases with an inflammatory etiology including many inflammatory-related disorders. At the molecular level, the mechanisms by which depression might promote the onset of these diseases and associated immune-dysfunction are not well understood. In this study we assessed genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in whole blood-derived DNA obtained from individuals with a self-reported history of depression (n=100) and individuals without a history of depression (n=100) using the Illumina 450K microarray. Our analysis identified 6 significant (Sidak corrected P < 0.05) depression-associated differentially methylated regions (DMRs); the top-ranked DMR was located in exon 1 of the LTB4R2 gene (Sidak corrected P = 1.27 x 10-14). Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for depression were generated and known biological markers of inflammation, telomere length (TL) and IL-6, were measured in DNA and serum samples respectively. Next, we employed a systems-level approach to identify networks of co-methylated loci associated with a history of depression, in addition to depression PRS, TL and IL-6 levels. Our analysis identified one depression-associated co-methylation module (P = 0.04). Interestingly, the depression-associated module was highly enriched for pathways related to immune function and was also associated with TL and IL-6 cytokine levels. In summary, our genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of individuals with and without a self-reported history of depression identified several candidate DMRs of potential relevance to the pathogenesis of depression and its associated immune-dysfunction phenotype.
The authors would like to acknowledge funding support for the project from the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation (BBF) through a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant to TMM.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
Published online 22 May 2018.