A goal for most researchers is to strengthen their findings with cross-species research. Only animal studies allow us to investigate the direct effect of external factors on the brain. But of course, we want to know if findings from animal studies also apply to humans and if findings from human peripheral tissue correlate to findings in the rodent brain. Therefore, in collaboration with the biopsychology lab, we investigated the Morc1 methylation of buccal cells in healthy human adults. Interestingly, we found a significant positive correlation between Morc1 hypermethylation and depressive symptoms. Moreover, we were able to support the already reported connection between early life stress and Morc1 hypomethylation. This finding strengthens the involvement of Morc1 in early life stress and depression. It further reinforces the importance of ongoing animal studies in the role of Morc1 which Anna is carrying out in her Ph.D. thesis. Stay tuned for new breakthroughs in Morc1 as a possible biomarker for depression on our page!
Check out Annas and Nadjas article Methylation of MORC1: A possible biomarker for depression? published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research here!