Reference : Mitochondrial DNA as a marker for treatment-response in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Mitochondrial DNA as a marker for treatment-response in post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hummel, E. M. [> >]
Piovesan, K. [> >]
Berg, F. [> >]
Herpertz, S. [> >]
Kessler, H. [> >]
Kumsta, Robert mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)]
Moser, D. A. [> >]
[en] Heteroplasmy ; Mitochondria ; MtDNA ; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ; Therapy
[en] Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition thought to be mediated by a dysregulated stress response system. Stress, especially chronic stress, affects mitochondrial activity and their efficiency in duplicating their genomes. Human cells contain numerous mitochondria that harbor multiple copies of their own genome, which consist of a mixture of wild type and variant mtDNA - a condition known as mitochondrial heteroplasmy. Number of mitochondrial genomes in a cell and the degree of heteroplasmy may serve as an indicator of mitochondrial allostatic load. Changes in mtDNA copy number and the proportion of variant mtDNA may be related to mental disorders and symptom severity, suggesting an involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction also in PTSD. Therefore, we examined number and composition of mitochondrial DNA before and after six weeks of inpatient psychotherapy treatment in a cohort of 60 female PTSD patients. We extracted DNA from isolated monocytes before and after inpatient treatment and quantified cellular mtDNA using multiplex qPCR. We hypothesized that treatment would lead to changes in cellular mtDNA levels and that change in mtDNA level would be associated with PTSD symptom severity and treatment response. It could be shown that mtDNA copy number and the ratio of variant mtDNA decreased during therapy, however, this change did not correlate with treatment response. Our results suggest that inpatient treatment can reduce signs of mitochondrial allostatic load, which could have beneficial effects on mental health. The quantification of mtDNA and the determination of cellular heteroplasmy could represent valuable biomarkers for the molecular characterization of mental disorders in the future.
Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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