RNA-sequencing profiles hippocampal gene expression in a validated model of cancer-induced depression
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To investigate the pathophysiology of cancer-induced depression (CID), we have recently developed a validated CID mouse model. Given that the efficacy of antidepressants in cancer patients is controversial, it remains unclear whether CID is a biologically distinct form of depression. We used RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to investigate differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in hippocampi of animals from our CID model relative a positive control model of depressive-like behavior induced with chronic corticosterone (CORT). To validate RNA-seq results, we performed quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) on a subset of DEGs. Enrichment analysis using DAVID was performed on DEGs to identify enriched Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways and biological process gene ontologies (GO:BP). qRT-PCR results significantly predicted RNA-seq results. RNA-seq revealed that most DEGs identified in the CORT model overlapped with the CID model. Enrichment analyses identified KEGG pathways and GO:BP terms associated with ion homeostasis and neuronal communication for both the CORT and CID model. In addition, CID DEGs were enriched in pathways and terms relating to neuronal development, intracellular signaling, learning and memory. This study is the first to investigate CID at the mRNA level. We have shown that most hippocampal mRNA changes that are associated with a depressive-like state are also associated with cancer. Several other changes occur at the mRNA level in cancer, suggesting that the CID model may represent a biologically distinct form of a depressive-like state.
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