Gene expression profiles can predict depressive symptoms in post-stroke patients

Monika Opalek, PhD

July 11, 2023

Scientists from Intelliseq, including Marcin Piechota, Dzesika Hoinkis, Michal Korostynski and Slawomir Golda, recently co-authored a research article published in the Journal of Neurochemistry. The research project involving patients has been conducted by Prof. Tomasz Dziedzic from the Department of Neurology, Jagiellonian University Medical College. The study focuses on predicting depressive symptoms in patients after a stroke based on the gene expression profiles. 

Approximately one third of post-stroke patients experience depressive symptoms at different time points, which significantly hinder the recovery process. Early administration of appropriate medication can significantly improve the patient’s condition, but accurate identification of individuals at risk of developing post-stroke depression is a major challenge, especially in patients without a previous history of depression.

The examination of gene expression profiles in blood samples is being intensively tested as a biomarker for the diagnosis of various mood disorders. However, the person-to-person variation in basal gene expression hinders the search for a universal biomarker.

In their article, Piechota et al. (2023) present a proof-of-concept approach where individuals at risk of developing depressive symptoms after a stroke can be identified by analysing gene expression profiles in blood samples taken shortly after a stroke and then stimulated ex vivo with lipopolysaccharide. A total of 510 genes were found to be differentially expressed between patients with and without symptoms of depression, with the majority being downregulated in patients experiencing depressive symptoms. Scientists constructed a risk prediction model using a principal component analysis combined with logistic regression. This model allowed for the identification of six genes with the strongest discriminative properties and high sensitivity and specificity.

For more details, you can read the full story DOI: 10.1111/jnc.15902

Reference:M. Piechota, D. Hoinkis, M. Korostynski, S. Golda, J. Pera, T. Dziedzic (2023). Gene expression profiling in whole blood stimulated ex vivo with lipopolysaccharide as a tool to predict post-stroke depressive symptoms: Proof-of-concept study. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2023;00:1–10.

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