Serotonin transporter gene promoter methylation status correlates with in vivo prefrontal 5-HTT availability and reward function in human obesity.
ABSTRACT: A polymorphism in the promoter region of the human serotonin transporter (5-HTT)-coding SLC6A4 gene (5-HTTLPR) has been implicated in moderating susceptibility to stress-related psychopathology and to possess regulatory functions on human in vivo 5-HTT availability. However, data on a direct relation between 5-HTTLPR and in vivo 5-HTT availability have been inconsistent. Additional factors such as epigenetic modifications of 5-HTTLPR might contribute to this association. This is of particular interest in the context of obesity, as an association with 5-HTTLPR hypermethylation has previously been reported. Here, we tested the hypothesis that methylation rates of 14 cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) 5-HTTLPR loci, in vivo central 5-HTT availability as measured with [11C]DASB positron emission tomography (PET) and body mass index (BMI) are related in a group of 30 obese (age: 36±10 years, BMI>35?kg/m2) and 14 normal-weight controls (age 36±7 years, BMI<25?kg/m2). No significant association between 5-HTTLPR methylation and BMI overall was found. However, site-specific elevations in 5-HTTLPR methylation rates were significantly associated with lower 5-HTT availability in regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) specifically within the obese group when analyzed in isolation. This association was independent of functional 5-HTTLPR allelic variation. In addition, negative correlative data showed that CpG10-associated 5-HTT availability determines levels of reward sensitivity in obesity. Together, our findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms rather than 5-HTTLPR alone influence in vivo 5-HTT availability, predominantly in regions having a critical role in reward processing, and this might have an impact on the progression of the obese phenotype.
Project description:Epigenetic mechanisms may moderate genetic and environmental risk (GxE) for mood disorders. We used an experimental rhesus macaque model of early life stress to test whether epigenetic regulation of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) may contribute to GxE interactions that influence behavior and emotion. We hypothesized that peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA methylation within an 800 bp cytosine-phosphate-guanosine (CpG) island that overlaps with the 5-HTT transcription initiation start site, a hypothesized model of the same genomic region in brain tissue, would mediate or moderate the effects of early life stress and a functional 5-HTT promoter polymorphism (rh5-HTTLPR) on two outcomes: PBMC 5-HTT expression and behavioral stress reactivity. Eighty-seven infant rhesus macaques (3-4 months of age) were either mother reared in large social groups (n = 70) or nursery reared (n = 17). During a maternal/social separation, infants' blood was sampled and behavioral stress reactivity recorded. PBMC DNA and RNA samples were used to determine rh5-HTTLPR genotype, 5-HTT mRNA expression using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and 5-HTT CpG methylation status using sodium bisulfite pyrosequencing. Consistent with human data, carriers of the low-expressing rh5-HTTLPR alleles exhibited higher mean 5-HTT CpG methylation, which was associated with lower PBMC 5-HTT expression. Higher 5-HTT CpG methylation, but not rh5-HTTLPR genotype, exacerbated the effects of early life stress on behavioral stress reactivity in infants. 5-HTT CpG methylation may be an important regulator of 5-HTT expression early in development and may contribute to the risk for mood disorders observed in 'high-risk'5-HTTLPR carriers.
Project description:Associations between altered DNA methylation of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT)-encoding gene SLC6A4 and early life adversity, mood and anxiety disorders, and amygdala reactivity have been reported. However, few studies have examined epigenetic alterations of SLC6A4 in schizophrenia (SZ). We examined CpG sites of SLC6A4, whose DNA methylation levels have been reported to be altered in bipolar disorder, using 3 independent cohorts of patients with SZ and age-matched controls. We found significant hypermethylation of a CpG site in SLC6A4 in male patients with SZ in all 3 cohorts. We showed that chronic administration of risperidone did not affect the DNA methylation status at this CpG site using common marmosets, and that in vitro DNA methylation at this CpG site diminished the promoter activity of SLC6A4. We then genotyped the 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and investigated the relationship among 5-HTTLPR, DNA methylation, and amygdala volume using brain imaging data. We found that patients harboring low-activity 5-HTTLPR alleles showed hypermethylation and they showed a negative correlation between DNA methylation levels and left amygdala volumes. These results suggest that hypermethylation of the CpG site in SLC6A4 is involved in the pathophysiology of SZ, especially in male patients harboring low-activity 5-HTTLPR alleles.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>In the U.S., an astonishing 12.5 million children and adolescents are now obese, predisposing 17% of our nation's youth to metabolic complications of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). Adolescent obesity has tripled over the last three decades in the setting of food advertising directed at children. Obese adults exhibit increased brain responses to food images in motivation-reward pathways. These neural alterations may be attributed to obesity-related metabolic changes, which promote food craving and high-calorie food (HCF) consumption. It is not known whether these metabolic changes affect neural responses in the adolescent brain during a crucial period for establishing healthy eating behaviors.<h4>Research design and methods</h4>Twenty-five obese (BMI 34.4 kg/m2, age 15.7 years) and fifteen lean (BMI 20.96 kg/m2, age 15.5 years) adolescents underwent functional MRI during exposure to HCF, low-calorie food (LCF), and nonfood (NF) visual stimuli 2 h after isocaloric meal consumption.<h4>Results</h4>Brain responses to HCF relative to NF cues increased in obese versus lean adolescents in striatal-limbic regions (i.e., putamen/caudate, insula, amygdala) (P < 0.05, family-wise error [FWE]), involved in motivation-reward and emotion processing. Higher endogenous leptin levels correlated with increased neural activation to HCF images in all subjects (P < 0.05, FWE).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This significant association between higher circulating leptin and hyperresponsiveness of brain motivation-reward regions to HCF images suggests that dysfunctional leptin signaling may contribute to the risk of overconsumption of these foods, thus further predisposing adolescents to the development of obesity and T2D.
Project description:7 WJ-MSC lines from non-obese BMI <25 kg/m2 were compared with 7 WJ-MSC lines obese BMI >30 kg/m2. No template was used as a negative control Triplicates for each line were analyses for epigenome-wide methylation (>480,000 CpG sites) using Infinium Human Methylation 450 BeadChip Kit (Illumina). Overall design: Bisulphite converted DNA (500 ng/sample) from the 15 samples (triplicates from 14 lines + 3 repiclates from no template samples) were hybridised to the Infinium Human Methylation 450 BeadChip Kit (Illumina)
Project description:The lower-expressing (S') alleles of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) are linked to mood and anxiety related psychopathology. However, the specific neural mechanism through which these alleles may influence emotional and cognitive processing remains unknown. We examined the relationship between both 5-HTTLPR genotype and in vivo 5-HTT binding quantified via PET with amygdala reactivity to emotionally negative stimuli. We hypothesized that 5-HTT binding in both raphe nuclei (RN) and amygdala would be inversely correlated with amygdala reactivity, and that number of S' alleles would correlate positively with amygdala reactivity.In medication-free patients with current major depressive disorder (MDD; N=21), we determined 5-HTTLPR genotype, employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine amygdala responses to negative emotional stimuli, and used positron emission tomography with [(11)C]DASB to examine 5-HTT binding.[(11)C]DASB binding in RN and amygdala was inversely correlated with amygdala response to negative stimuli. 5-HTTLPR S' alleles were not associated with amygdala response to negative emotional stimuli.Primary limitations are small sample size and lack of control group.Consistent with findings in healthy volunteers, 5-HTT binding is associated with amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli in MDD. 5-HTT binding may be a stronger predictor of emotional processing in MDD as compared with 5-HTTLPR genotype.
Project description:The aim of study was to investigate correlation bewteen peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) transcriptome profiles and plasma lipid profiles of Korean adult with varying BMI. In Korean, BMI cut-off points are 18.5~22.9 kg/m2 (normal range), ≥ 23 kg/m2 (overweight), ≥ 25 kg/m2 (obese), ≥ 30 kg/m2 (severely obese). Thus, the obese group was subdivided into mildly obese (BMI 25~27 kg/m2, OA) and highly obese (BMI 27~30 kg/m2, OB). This study indicates that lipid, glucose and inflammation metabolism-related gene expressions were altered according to cahnge of varing phenotype biomarkers such as BMI, plasma total-C, TG, FFA and HDL-C. Thus, blood biomarkers and PBMC gene expression profiles identified in this study may be useful as indicative biomarkers for obese susceptibility in Korean adult as well as response to various intervention for treating obesity. Total RNA of PBMCs was obtained from normal weight, obese person and mRNA expression was measured.
Project description:The serotonin transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene is associated with amygdala response during negative emotion. The aim of this study was to investigate whether this genotype effect on amygdala function is mediated by current serotonin transporter (5-HTT) levels or rather by genetically induced influences during neurodevelopment, shaping brain structure. A total of 54 healthy subjects underwent functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, [(11)C]DASB positron emission tomography and 5-HTTLPR genotyping to analyze the interrelationships between amygdala activation during processing of unpleasant stimuli, 5-HTTLPR genotype, amygdala volumes and 5-HTT levels in the midbrain and in other brain regions. In line with previous research, carriers of the short allele (S) showed increased amygdala activation. Path analysis demonstrated that this genotype effect was not procured by current 5-HTT availability but by amygdala structure, with smaller amygdala volumes in the S than in the LL genotype, as well as smaller volumes being associated with increased amygdala activation. Our findings stress the role of genetic effects during neurodevelopment.
Project description:The relationship between body weight and different cancers is now well-recognized and among such cancers, colorectal cancer (CRC) is reported most frequently. Our group recently published findings, through an epigenome-wide association study, suggesting that body mass index (BMI) could act as a relevant risk factor in the CRC. In addition, aberrant SFRP2 methylation is one of the major mechanisms for Wnt signaling activation in CRC. Conversely, neoadjuvant chemo-radiotherapy appears to alter the rectal cancer epigenome. This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of obesity, measured by BMI, on the methylation of SFRP2 in tumor samples of patients with CRC. Non-treated CRC patients and CRC patients treated with pre-operative neoadjuvant therapy from 2011 to 2013 were included and classified by BMI < 25.0 kg/m2 and BMI > 25.0 kg/m2. SFRP2 DNA methylation in tumor samples was measured by pyrosequencing. Our findings suggest a possible interaction between SFRP2 methylation levels and BMI in CRC tumor samples. The correlation of SFRP2 hypomethylation with an elevated BMI was stronger within the non-treated CRC patient group than within the treated CRC patient group. We have successfully demonstrated that the beneficial association of tumor SFRP2 hypomethylation is dependent on patient BMI in non-treated CRC, suggesting a possible tumor suppressor role for SFRP2 in overweight and obese patients. Additional studies of clinical pathologies would be necessary to strengthen these preliminary results.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Endometriosis is considered as a serious gynaecological disease in women at a reproductive age. Lower body mass index (BMI) is thought to be a risk factor. However, recent studies indicated that women with normal BMI were also more likely to develop endometriosis, suggesting the association with BMI is controversial. We therefore investigated the association of BMI and surgically diagnosed endometriosis in a cohort of Chinese women. DESIGN:Retrospective case-control study. SETTING:Tertiary hospital. PATIENTS:709 women with endometriosis and 807 age matched controls between January 2018 and August 2019. INTERVENTION:Age at diagnosis, parity, gravida, BMI and self-reported dysmenorrhoea status were collected and the association of BMI and endometriosis was analysed. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS:Overall, the median BMI was not different between patients and controls (21.1?kg/m2 vs 20.9?kg/m2, p=0.223). According to the BMI categories for Asians/Chinese by WHO (underweight: <18.5?kg/m2, normal weight: 18.5-22.99?kg/m2, overweight: 23-27.49?kg/m2, obese: ?27.50?kg/m2), overall, there was no difference in the association of BMI and endometriosis (p=0.112). 60% of patients were of normal weight. However, the OR of obese patients (BMI over 27.50?kg/m2) having endometriosis was1.979 (95% CI 1.15 to 3.52, p=0.0185), compared with women with normal weight. 50.3% patients reported dysmenorrhoea, and the OR of developing severe dysmenorrhoea in obese patients (BMI over 27.50?kg/m2) was 3.64 (95% CI 1.195 to 10.15, p=0.025), compared with patients with normal weight. CONCLUSION:Our data demonstrate that overall there was no association between BMI and the incidence of endometriosis, but there was a significant increase in the incidence of endometriosis in obese women, compared with women with normal weight. Obesity was also a risk factor for severe dysmenorrhoea.
Project description:BACKGROUND: There is evidence from animal studies that serotonin (5-HT) can influence the antinociceptive effects of opioids at the spinal cord level. Therefore, there could be an influence of genetic polymorphisms in the serotonin system on individual variability in response to opioid treatment of pain. The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is a key regulator of serotonin metabolism and availability and its gene harbors several known polymorphisms that are known to affect 5-HTT expression (e.g. 5-HTTLPR, rs25531). The aim of this study was to investigate if the triallelic 5-HTTLPR influences pain sensitivity or the analgesic effect of opioids in humans. 43 healthy volunteers (12 men, 31 women, mean age 26 years) underwent heat pain stimulations before and after intravenous injection of Remifentanil; a rapid and potent opioid drug acting on micro-type receptors. Subjects rated their perceived pain on a visual analogue scale (VAS). All participants were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR and the rs25531 polymorphism. We recruited by advertising, with no history of drug abuse, chronic pain or psychiatric disorders. RESULTS: At baseline, there was no difference in pain ratings for the different triallelic 5-HTTLPR genotype groups. However, the opiod drug had a differential analgesic effect depending on the triallelic 5-HTTLPR genotype. Remifentanil had a significantly better analgesic effect in individuals with a genotype coding for low 5-HTT expression (SA/SA and SA/LG) as compared to those with high expression(LA/LA), p < 0.02. The analgesic effect for the three different genotype groups was linear to degree of 5-HTT expression. CONCLUSION: This is the first report showing an influence of the triallelic 5-HTTLPR on pain sensitivity or the analgesic effect of opioids in humans. Previously the 5-HTTLPR s-allele has been associated with higher risk of developing chronic pain conditions but in this study we show that the genotype coding for low 5-HTT expression is associated with a better analgesic effect of an opioid. The s-allele has been associated with downregulation of 5-HT1 receptors and we suggest that individuals with a desensitization of 5-HT1 receptors have an increased analgesic response to opioids during acute pain stimuli, but may still be at increased risk of developing chronic pain conditions.