Sex-specific differences in the dynamics of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and nesfatin-1 expressions in the midbrain of depressed suicide victims vs. controls

Bernard Bloem, Lu Xu, Éva Morava, Gábor Faludi, Miklós Palkovits, Eric W. Roubos, Tamás Kozicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An intriguing novel pathophysiological insight into mood disorders is the notion that one's metabolic status influences mood. In rodents, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and nesfatin-1/NUCB2 have not only been implicated in metabolism, but in the pathobiology of anxiety and depressive-like behaviour, however they have not previously been investigated in depressed subjects. Both peptides are highly expressed in centrally projecting neurons in the Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWcp) in the midbrain. The EWcp has been implicated in stress adaptation and stress-related mood disorders like major depressive disorder in a sex-specific manner. This is intriguing, given the fact that females have higher prevalence of mood disorders. Here, we hypothesized that the expression of CART and nesfatin-1 in EWcp would exhibit a sex-specific difference between depressed suicide victims vs. controls. We found that CART and nesfatin/NUCB2 colocalized in the human EWcp, and that CART mRNA content was much higher in both male (×3.8) and female (×5.9) drug-free suicide victims than in controls (persons who died without any diagnosed neurodegenerative or psychiatric disorder). Similarly, NUCB2 mRNA content was also higher (×1.8) in male suicides, whereas in female suicide victims, these contents were ×2.7 lower compared to controls. These observations are the first to show changes in the dynamics of CART and nesfatin/NUCB2 expressions in the midbrain of drug-free depressed suicide victims vs. controls. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume62
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • Edinger-Westphal nucleus
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Nesfatin-1
  • Nucleobindin 2
  • Q-RT-PCR
  • Short post-mortem time
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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