Modeling of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis-mediated interaction between the serotonin regulation pathway and the stress response using a Boolean approximation: a novel study of depression

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Author list: Moreno-Ramos OA, Lattig MC, Barrios AFG
Publisher: BMC (part of Springer Nature)
Publication year: 2013
Volume number: 10
Number of pages: 15
ISSN: 1742-4682
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a multifactorial disorder known to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. MDD presents a heritability of 37%, and a genetic contribution has also been observed in studies of family members of individuals with MDD that imply that the probability of suffering the disorder is approximately three times higher if a first-degree family member is affected. Childhood maltreatment and stressful life events (SLEs) have been established as critical environmental factors that profoundly influence the onset of MDD. The serotonin pathway has been a strong candidate for genetic studies, but it only explains a small proportion of the heritability of the disorder, which implies the involvement of other pathways. The serotonin (5-HT) pathway interacts with the stress response pathway in a manner mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis. To analyze the interaction between the pathways, we propose the use of a synchronous Boolean network (SBN) approximation. The principal aim of this work was to model the interaction between these pathways, taking into consideration the presence of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), in order to observe how the pathways interact and to examine if the system is stable. Additionally, we wanted to study which genes or metabolites have the greatest impact on model stability when knocked out in silico. We observed that the biological model generated predicts steady states (attractors) for each of the different runs performed, thereby proving that the system is stable. These attractors changed in shape, especially when anti-depressive drugs were also included in the simulation. This work also predicted that the genes with the greatest impact on model stability were those involved in the neurotrophin pathway, such as CREB, BDNF (which has been associated with major depressive disorder in a variety of studies) and TRkB, followed by genes and metabolites related to 5-HT synthesis.


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Last updated on 2019-23-08 at 11:15