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Epigenetic downregulation of atrial natriuretic peptide but not vasopressin mRNA expression in females with eating disorders is related to impulsivity.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuropsychopharmacology
1740-634X
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Volume
33
Issue
11
Pages
2605–2609
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301662
PMID: 18172431
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Disturbances of volume-regulating mechanisms have already been implicated in the pathophysiology of eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia nervosa with the peptide hormones vasopressin and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) being of special interest. Aim of the present study was to investigate, whether the expression of the corresponding genes was altered and if so, if these changes could be explained by epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation. We analyzed blood samples of 46 women suffering from anorexia (n=22) or bulimia nervosa (n=24) as well as of 30 healthy controls. Peripheral mRNA expression and DNA methylation of the vasopressin and the ANP precursor genes were assessed using real-time PCR. We found significantly lower levels of ANP mRNA in patients with eating disorders. This downregulation was accompanied by a hypermethylation of the ANP gene promoter in the bulimic subgroup. We did not find differences regarding expression or methylation of the vasopressin gene. ANP mRNA expression was inversely associated with impaired impulse regulation. We conclude that epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to the known alterations of ANP homeostasis in women with eating disorders.

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