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High levels of mitochondrial DNA are associated with adolescent brain structural hypoconnectivity and increased anxiety but not depression
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, United States.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, E-ISSN 1573-2517, Vol. 232, p. 283-290Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Adolescent anxiety and depression are highly prevalent psychiatric disorders that are associated with altered molecular and neurocircuit profiles. Recently, increased mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-cn) has been found to be associated with several psychopathologies in adults, especially anxiety and depression. The associations between mtDNA-cn and anxiety and depression have not, however, been investigated in adolescents. Moreover, to date there have been no studies examining associations between mtDNA-cn and brain network alterations in mood disorders in any age group.

METHODS: The first aim of this study was to compare salivary mtDNA-cn between 49 depressed and/or anxious adolescents and 35 well-matched healthy controls. The second aim of this study was to identify neural correlates of mtDNA-cn derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography, in the full sample of adolescents.

RESULTS: There were no diagnosis-specific alterations in mtDNA-cn. However, there was a positive correlation between mtDNA-cn and levels of anxiety, but not depression, in the full sample of adolescents. A subnetwork of connections largely corresponding to the left fronto-occipital fasciculus had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values in adolescents with higher than median mtDNA-cn.

LIMITATIONS: Undifferentiated analysis of free and intracellular mtDNA and use of DTI-based tractography represent this study's limitations.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study help elucidate the relationships between clinical symptoms, molecular changes, and neurocircuitry alterations in adolescents with and without anxiety and depression, and they suggest that increased mtDNA-cn is associated both with increased anxiety symptoms and with decreased fronto-occipital structural connectivity in this population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 232, p. 283-290
Keywords [en]
Adolescent depression, Anxiety, Brain connectivity, DTI, MRI, Mitochondrial DNA
National Category
Psychiatry Neurosciences Neurology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146327DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.024ISI: 000428033000038PubMedID: 29500956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146327DiVA, id: diva2:1195337
Available from: 2018-04-05 Created: 2018-04-05 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Henje Blom, Eva

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