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Long Non-Coding RNA: Potential Diagnostic and Therapeutic Biomarker for Major Depressive Disorder

Xuelian Cui, Xinyang Sun, Wei Niu, Lingming Kong, Mingjun He, Aifang Zhong, Shengdong Chen, Kunhong Jiang, Liyi Zhang, Zaohuo Cheng

(Department of Women Health Care, Changzhou Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital Affiliated with Nanjing Medical University, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:5240-5248

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899372

Published: 2016-12-31

BACKGROUND: The criteria for diagnosing depression are based on behavioral observation and self-reporting of symptoms by the patients or guardians without any biological validation of the disease. This study aimed to identify long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as robust and predictive biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy response in major depressive disorder (MDD).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used human lncRNA 3.0 microarray profiling (which covers 30,586 human lncRNAs), using PBMCs from five MDD patients and five controls. Differentially expressed lncRNAs in the PBMCs of MDD patients were identified, of which 10 candidate lncRNAs were selected for real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis in a larger cohort of 138 MDD patients and 63 healthy controls. Then among the 138 MDD patients who received standard antidepressant treatment, 30 were randomly selected for lncRNAs expression retesting and symptomatology assessments after three-weeks and six-weeks of antidepressant treatment.
RESULTS: Six lncRNAs (TCONS_00019174, ENST00000566208, NONHSAG045500, ENST00000517573, NONHSAT034045, and NONHSAT142707) were significantly downregulated in MDD patients compared to control patients, and the area under the receiver operator curve (ROC) of these six lncRNAs cases, combined, was 0.719 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.617–0.821). There was no difference in the expression of these six lncRNAs based on gender (p>0.05) or age (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the combined expression of six lncRNAs in PBMCs may serve as a potential biomarker for diagnosis and therapy response of MDD in the clinical setting.

Keywords: Biological Markers, Depressive Disorder, Major, RNA, Long Noncoding