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Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A team led by scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has discovered a long, noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that appears to regulate depression on a sex-specific basis, offering new clues as to why women are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with the condition than men. In the study, which appears this week in Science Advances, the researchers analyzed postmortem brain tissue from people with major depressive disorder (MDD) and find a human lncRNA, dubbed FEDORA, is enriched in oligodendrocytes and neurons, and upregulated in prefrontal cortex — but only in depressed women. When FEDORA was expressed in the brains of mice, it promoted depression-like behavior in just the female animals. When the investigators looked at blood samples from MDD patients enrolled in a clinical study examining the antidepressant effects of ketamine, they discovered higher levels of FEDORA in female patients versus both male patients and healthy women. The findings, the study's authors write, could help in the development of sex-specific diagnostic and treatment approaches for depression.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.