Searching for the Neural Bases of Emotional Responsiveness with the Aid of Microrarray Technology
Simon Evans; Robert Thompson; Prabha V. Choudaray; Marquis P. Vawter; Jun Li; Juan Lopez; Richard Meyers; David Cox; Edward G. Jones; William E. Bunney; Stanley J. Watson; Huda Akil
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 40th Annual Meeting. 2001.
Searching for the Neural Bases of Emotional Responsiveness with the Aid of Microrarray Technology. Vulnerability to affective disorders results from the interplay of genetic predisposition, developmental factors and acute stressors or life events that lead to the expression of the illness. Genes, development and environment meet at the level of brain circuits to result in unique "neuronal phenotypes" which mediate emotional behavior. It is therefore important to delineate the critical genes that are relevant to emotionality and stress responsiveness in the context of neural circuits. While a number of candidate genes that play such a role have been identified, there are many genes yet to be discovered that may contribute to differences in emotional reactivity among individuals. The goal of this work is to lay the groundwork, both in animal and in human studies, for identifying novel genes that participate in emotional responsiveness. To this end, the animal studies will define novel stress-and glucocorticoid- sensitive genes by using microarray technology. The human studies will also use microarray approaches, coupled with in situ hybridization, to identify novel neurally expressed genes that are relevant to emotional reactivity. Initial work has focused on studies in normal human controls, by examining differences in patterns of gene expression in brain regions that have been implicated in the processing of emotion and affect. These form the backdrop for ongoing studies on differences in patterns of gene expression in major depression and other affective disorders.