Epigenetic modulation of BDNF gene: Differences in DNA methylation between unipolar and bipolar patients

Bernardo Dell'Osso, Claudio D'Addario, Maria Carlotta Palazzo, Beatrice Benatti, Giulia Camuri, Daniela Galimberti, Chiara Fenoglio, Elio Scarpini, Andrea Di Francesco, Mauro MacCarrone, A. Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene and its epigenetic regulation have been repeatedly implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Following previous investigation in the field, we further investigated differences in BDNF promoter gene methylation in patients with mood disorders, comparing unipolar and bipolar subjects, on the basis of illness phase, gender, age and psychotropic prescription. Methods 154 patients (43 MDD; 61 BD I; 50 BD II), on stable pharmacological treatment, and 44 age-matched, healthy controls were recruited. BDNF methylation levels from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were compared by analysis of variance followed by Bonferroni's post-hoc test. Results Similar, higher levels of BDNF gene promoter methylation were found in BD II and MDD patients, compared to BD I subjects (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-333
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bipolar disorders
  • Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
  • Epigenetics
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Methylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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