PublicationsChanges in glial gene expression in the prefrontal cortex in relation to major depressive disorder, suicide and psychotic features
Background: To establish whether major depressive disorder (MDD), suicidal behaviors and psychotic features contribute to glial alterations in the human prefrontal cortex. Materials and methods: We compared mRNA expression using real-time qPCR of 17 glia related genes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) between 24 patients with MDD and 12 well-matched controls without psychiatric or neurological diseases. The MDD group was subdivided into i) MDD who died of suicide (MDD-S) or natural causes (MDD-NS) and ii) MDD with or without psychotic features (MDD-P and MDD-NP). The results were followed up with confounder factor analysis. Results: Astrocyte gene aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 L1 (ALDH1L1) showed an increased expression in the DLPFC of MDD-NS and the ACC of MDD-NP. S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B) was upregulated in the DLPFC of MDD compared to the controls. Microglial markers CD11B and purinergic receptor 12 (P2RY12) both showed decreased expression in the ACC of MDD-NS. CD68 was increased in the DLPFC of MDD in both, MDD-S and MDD-P, compared to the controls. In addition, there was increased translocator protein (TSPO) expression in the DLPFC of MDD, especially MDD-NS. In the ACC, this gene had a lower expression in MDD-P than in MDD-NP. Myelin basic protein (MBP) mRNA in the DLPFC increased in MDD, in relation to psychotic features, but not to suicide. Limitations: Sample volumes are relatively small. Conclusions: Different glial functions in MDD were related to specific brain area, suicide or psychotic features.