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J Affect Disord. 2011 Dec;135(1-3):400-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

TrkB gene expression and DNA methylation state in Wernicke area does not associate with suicidal behavior.

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Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy; CEINGE-Biotecnologie Avanzate, Naples, Italy.



Alterations of DNA methylation and expression of suicide-related genes occurring in specific brain's areas have been associated to suicidal behavior. In the BDNF pathway, TrkB gene in frontal cortex and hippocampus, and BDNF gene in Wernicke area have been found hypermethylated and down-regulated in suicide subjects as compared to controls. In this work we investigated whether epigenetic modifications of TrkB gene occur in Wernicke area of 18 suicide subjects as compared to 18 controls.


MassArray analysis was performed to determine the methylation degree of TrkB promoter in post-mortem samples. TrkB full length and TrkB-T1 mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR. Geometric averaging of four internal control genes was calculated for normalization of results.


We found that TrkB and TrkB-T1 expression and promoter methylation in Wernicke area did not correlate with suicidal behavior whereas, in the same samples, the BDNF promoter IV was significantly hypermethylated in suicide with respect of controls.


Data from a single brain's area in this study's sample.


Our data show that no correlation exists between TrkB gene methylation and suicide in Wernicke area, confirming that expression and methylation state of suicide-related genes, even belonging to the same pathway, may be specific for brain area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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