Image_1_Wfs1 and Related Molecules as Key Candidate Genes in the Hippocampus of Depression.pdf (1.69 MB)
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Image_1_Wfs1 and Related Molecules as Key Candidate Genes in the Hippocampus of Depression.pdf

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posted on 22.01.2021, 15:55 by Jing Yang, Chaoqin Chen, Xiaoyuan Jin, Lu Liu, Jiajia Lin, Xianhui Kang, Shengmei Zhu

Depression is a prevalent mental disorder, which is difficult to diagnose and treat due to its unclear pathogenic mechanisms. The discovery of novel and effective therapeutic targets for depression is urgently needed. The hippocampus is a crucial region involved in depression and has been a therapeutic target for many antidepressants. Thus, it is beneficial for comprehensive research to be carried out on the molecular mechanisms of the hippocampus involved in the pathogenesis of depression. This study aims to investigate the differentially expressed genes (DEG) in the hippocampus in a chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) mouse model.


The study obtained GSE84183 from the GEO database. The R language screened the differential expression genes (DEG) in the hippocampus tissue of depressed mice, and the enrichment pathways of DEGs were analyzed. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed in the STRING database and visualized in Cytoscape software. MicroRNAs for these DEGs were obtained from TarBase and mortar base databases, and transcription factors (TF) related to DEG were predicted from the ENCODE database. Both networks used the visual analysis platform NetworkAnalyst. Finally, the microRNA-TF network was integrated based on the above two networks and imported into Cytoscape for further analysis.


This study screened 325 differentially expressed genes, containing 42 downregulated genes and 283 upregulated genes. Most of these genes are enriched in the cell cycle and the chemokine signaling pathway. Meanwhile, Wfs1, one of the top ten DEGs, was identified as the key regulator of the cell cycle and the participator in the highest number of modules screened out in PPI networks. Wfs1-related molecules, including UBTF, mmu-mir-17-5p, and mmu-mir-7b-5p, were therefore screened out. Furthermore, we confirmed the downregulation of Wfs1 and upregulation of UBTF/mmu-mir-17-5p/mmu-mir-7b-5p in the hippocampus of the CUMS mouse model. Our data indicate that Wfs1 and related molecules were predicted to be associated with the pathological process of depression. This research provided potential new molecular targets of stress-induced depression.