News Releases & Research Results Altered DNA methylation status of a serotonin-related gene in male patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

2020.6.19News Releases & Research Results


The results of collaborative research conducted by Associate Professor Miki Bundo and Professor Kazuya Iwamoto of the Department of Molecular Brain Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, and Assistant Professor Tempei Ikegame and Professor Kiyoto Kasai of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, the University of Tokyo Hospital.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • Analysis of peripheral blood samples from patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder demonstrated DNA methylation which mainly suppresses the expression of the serotonin transporter gene, a regulator of neurotransmitter transmission.
  • The altered DNA methylation status was significantly associated with sex and genotype (gene polymorphisms), while hypermethylation was inversely associated with brain amygdala volume. 
  • The results of research should facilitate the development of new therapeutic agents and diagnostic markers for mental disorders.

This research project was conducted with the support of the Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences by AMED.

The results of research were published in the international scientific journal “Schizophrenia Bulletin“ on June 19.


Last updated 2020.6.19