Researchers have identified a suite of genes whose expression is dysregulated in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the Telegraph reports.
A US National Institutes of Health-led team compared lymphoblastoid cell line cultures from women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and asymptomatic controls, as they report in Molecular Psychiatry. The cell lines were either untreated or treated with hormones and analyzed using RNA-seq. Based on their transcriptomic analysis, the researchers found that cell lines from women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder appeared to respond differently to ovarian steroids.
In particular, the research team noted a difference in the expression of ESC/E(Z) complex genes. More than half the ESC/E(Z) complex genes were over-expressed in patients' cells, though at the protein level, the expression of four key genes was decreased in patients, according to the NIH. It further notes that progesterone increased the expression of some of these genes in control samples, while estrogen decreased it in patient samples, suggesting a dysregulated hormone response in premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
"Learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment of such prevalent reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders," Peter Schmidt from the National Institute of Mental Health, says in a statement.