PodcastNeuroscience

Science Signaling Podcast for 24 November 2015: Antidepressants and epigenetics

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Sci. Signal.  24 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 404, pp. pc29
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad8264

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Abstract

This Podcast features an interview with Theo Rein, author of a Research Article that appears in the 24 November 2015 issue of Science Signaling, about how antidepressants can affect gene transcription. Epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, have been implicated in both stress-related psychiatric disorders and the action of antidepressant drugs. Gassen et al. found that the antidepressant paroxetine affected epigenetic regulation of the gene encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is important for learning and memory. Paroxetine influenced which of two closely related molecular chaperones bound to CDK5, a kinase that activates DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). Paroxetine treatment reduced DNMT1 activity and DNA methylation and increased the expression of Bdnf. Whether patients responded to paroxetine treatment for depression correlated with the ability of paroxetine to induce Bdnf expression in blood cells cultured from the patients.

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