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Epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene is linked to traumatic memory and post-traumatic stress disorder risk in genocide survivors

Vukojevic, Vanja and Kolassa, Iris-T. and Fastenrath, Matthias and Gschwind, Leo and Spalek, Klara and Milnik, Annette and Heck, Angela and Vogler, Christian and Wilker, Sarah and Demougin, Philippe and Peter, Fabian and Atucha, Erika and Stetak, Attila and Roozendaal, Benno and Elbert, Thomas and Papassotiropoulos, Andreas and de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.. (2014) Epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene is linked to traumatic memory and post-traumatic stress disorder risk in genocide survivors. Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (31). pp. 10274-10284.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6298972

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Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that altered expression and epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) are related to the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The underlying mechanisms, however, remain unknown. Because glucocorticoid receptor signaling is known to regulate emotional memory processes, particularly in men, epigenetic modifications of NR3C1 might affect the strength of traumatic memories. Here, we found that increased DNA methylation at the NGFI-A (nerve growth factor-induced protein A) binding site of the NR3C1 promoter was associated with less intrusive memory of the traumatic event and reduced PTSD risk in male, but not female survivors of the Rwandan genocide. NR3C1 methylation was not significantly related to hyperarousal or avoidance symptoms. We further investigated the relationship between NR3C1 methylation and memory functions in a neuroimaging study in healthy subjects. Increased NR3C1 methylation-which was associated with lower NR3C1 expression-was related to reduced picture recognition in male, but not female subjects. Furthermore, we found methylation-dependent differences in recognition memory-related brain activity in men. Together, these findings indicate that an epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor gene promoter is linked to interindividual and gender-specific differences in memory functions and PTSD risk.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Molekulare Neurowissenschaften (Papassotiropoulos)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Molekulare Neurowissenschaften (Papassotiropoulos)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Services Biozentrum > Life Sciences Training Facility (Papassotiropoulos)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Cognitive Neuroscience (de Quervain)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Molecular Psychology (Papassotiropoulos)
UniBasel Contributors:Demougin, Philippe and Gschwind, Leo and Papassotiropoulos, Andreas and Vogler, Christian and Sifalakis, Klara and Stetak, Attila and de Quervain, Dominique J.-F. and Heck, Angela and Fastenrath, Matthias and Vukojevic, Vanja and Milnik, Annette
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474
e-ISSN:1529-2401
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:27 Nov 2017 13:29
Deposited On:05 Dec 2014 09:45

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