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Reciprocal interactions between hypogonadism and epigenetic modifications: A path for the development of personalized treatments for depression

Projektbeschreibung

Hypogonadismus und Epigenetik – Bedeutung bei Depressionen

Hypogonadismus, also die altersbedingte oder aus anderen medizinischen Gründen nachlassende Produktion von Keimdrüsenhormonen, wird mit einem erhöhten Risiko für Affektstörungen wie Depressionen in Verbindung gebracht. Es häufen sich die Hinweise darauf, dass auch epigenetische Veränderungen aufgrund von Stress oder anderen Umweltfaktoren zu Depressionen führen können. Die Wechselwirkungen zwischen Hypogonadismus, Stress, epigenetischen Veränderungen und Depressionen sind jedoch noch wenig erforscht. Das EU-finanzierte Projekt EstroGen wird eine interdisziplinäre Methode anwenden, um die kombinierte Wirkung von Hypogonadismus/Stress auf das Epigenom sowie dessen Rolle bei Depressionen zu untersuchen. Das Projekt wird präklinische Modelle verwenden, um neue Zusammenhänge zwischen Hypogonadismus und epigenetischen Veränderungen sowie mit Hypogonadismus zusammenhängende epigenetische Biomarker zur Vorhersage der späteren Entwicklung einer Depression zu ermitteln.

Ziel

Major depressive disorder afflicts ~16% of the population and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Classical antidepressants take weeks-to-months for clinical efficacy and only a sub-population of patients responds to treatment, highlighting the need for the development of novel rapid-acting and effective pharmacotherapies. Hypogonadism, the decrease in the production of gonadal hormones occurring due to ageing or several other medical conditions, has been associated with an increased risk for development of mood disorders, including depression. Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic changes induced by stress or other environmental factors might also contribute to the development of depression; however, the reciprocal interactions between hypogonadism, stress, epigenetic modifications and depression has received limited attention. During this project, my in-depth knowledge in studying the role of gonadal hormones in the pathophysiology of mood disorders will be combined with expertise of the Host lab in assessing epigenetic mechanisms of disease, to identify novel associations between hypogonadism and epigenetic modifications underpinning and/or predicting susceptibility for depression development. In particular, EstroGen proposes an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the combinatorial effect of hypogonadism/stress on epigenome and their role in depression, using preclinical models. In addition, this project aims to identify hypogonadism-related epigenetic biomarkers to predict subsequent development of depression. Importantly, this fellowship will propel my academic career and help me become a scientific leader at the interface of epigenetics, gonadal hormones and mood disorders, by acting as a stepping stone towards securing future research funding and acquiring a tenure track position in Europe.

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Koordinator

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS
Netto-EU-Beitrag
€ 145 941,12
Adresse
Avenue panepistimiou 2109 aglantzi
1678 Nicosia
Zypern

Auf der Karte ansehen

Region
Κύπρος Κύπρος Κύπρος
Aktivitätstyp
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Weitere Finanzmittel
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