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BMC Genet. 2016 Jan 25;17:27. doi: 10.1186/s12863-016-0332-2.

DNA methylation in peripheral tissue of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a systematic review.

Author information

1
School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia. n.teroganova@student.unsw.edu.au.
2
Schizophrenia Research Institute, 405 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia. n.teroganova@student.unsw.edu.au.
3
School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia. l.girshkin@student.unsw.edu.au.
4
Schizophrenia Research Institute, 405 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia. l.girshkin@student.unsw.edu.au.
5
Molecular Structural and Computational Biology Division, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia. c.suter@victorchang.edu.au.
6
School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia. melissa.green@unsw.edu.au.
7
Schizophrenia Research Institute, 405 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia. melissa.green@unsw.edu.au.
8
Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, 2031, Australia. melissa.green@unsw.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increasing evidence suggests the involvement of epigenetic processes in the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and recent reviews have focused on findings in post-mortem brain tissue. A systematic review was conducted to synthesise and evaluate the quality of available evidence for epigenetic modifications (specifically DNA methylation) in peripheral blood and saliva samples of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients in comparison to healthy controls.

METHODS:

Original research articles using humans were identified using electronic databases. There were 33 included studies for which data were extracted and graded in duplicate on 22 items of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement, to assess methodological precision and quality of reporting.

RESULTS:

There were 15 genome-wide and 18 exclusive candidate gene loci investigations for DNA methylation studies. A number of common genes were identified as differentially methylated in schizophrenia/bipolar disorder, which were related to reelin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, dopamine (including the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene), serotonin and glutamate, despite inconsistent findings of hyper-, hypo-, or lack of methylation at these and other loci. The mean STROBE score of 59% suggested moderate quality of available evidence; however, wide methodological variability contributed to a lack of consistency in the way methylation levels were quantified, such that meta-analysis of the results was not possible.

CONCLUSIONS:

Moderate quality of available evidence shows some convergence of differential methylation at some common genetic loci in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, despite wide variation in methodology and reporting across studies. Improvement in the clarity of reporting clinical and other potential confounds would be useful in future studies of epigenetic processes in the context of exposure to environmental and other risk factors.

PMID:
26809779
PMCID:
PMC4727379
DOI:
10.1186/s12863-016-0332-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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