Stanford University2014-11-24 1:43 PM

Telomere length and cortisol reactivity in children of depressed mothers

Abstract


A growing body of research demonstrates that individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) are characterized by shortened telomere length, which has been posited to underlie the association between depression and increased instances of medical illness . 


The temporal nature of the relation between MDD and shortened telomere length , however , is not clear . Importantly , both MDD and telomere length have been associated independently with high levels of stress , implicating dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and anomalous levels of cortisol secretion in this relation . 


Despite these associations, no study has assessed telomere length or its relation with HPA-axis activity in individuals at risk for depression, before the onset of disorder .


In the present study , we assessed cortisol levels in response to a laboratory stressor and telomere length in 97 healthy young daughters of mothers either with recurrent episodes of depression (i.e., daughters at familial risk for depression) or with no history of psychopathology . 


We found that daughters of depressed mothers had shorter telomeres than did daughters of never-depressed mothers and , further , that shorter telomeres were associated with greater cortisol reactivity to stress . 


This study is the first to demonstrate that children at familial risk of developing MDD are characterized by accelerated biological aging , operationalized as shortened telomere length , before they had experienced an onset of depression ; this may predispose them to develop not only MDD but also other age-related medical illnesses . 


It is critical, therefore, that we attempt to identify and distinguish genetic and environmental mechanisms that contribute to telomere shortening .



Full Article:

http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/mp2014119a.html

KEYWORDS

SHARE & LIKE

COMMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stanford University

0 Following 0 Fans 0 Projects 20 Articles

SIMILAR ARTICLES

AbstractDesorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometric imaging (DESI-MSI) has been shown to be particularly powerful for identifying lipids and

Read More

AbstractMo- and W-dichalcogenide compounds have a two-dimensional monolayer form that differs from graphene in an important respect: it can potentially

Read More

AbstractBackgroundWe still know little about whether and how the auditory hallucinations associated with serious psychotic disorder shift across cultur

Read More

Keywords:channel networks;erosional processes;symmetry;landscape evolution;random networksAbstractThe branched structure of channel networks has a prim

Read More

IntroductionOver the past three decades, the earnings of workers with a college education have substantially increased relative to those with less educ

Read More

ABSTRACTWe live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in loca

Read More

BackgroundLeber congenital amaurosis, caused by mutations in RPE65 and LRAT, is a severe form of inherited retinal degeneration leading to blindness. W

Read More

AbstractOil palm plantation expansion into tropical forests may alter physical and biogeochemical inputs to streams, thereby changing hydrological func

Read More

AbstractHummingbirds are the only birds that can sustain hovering. This unique flight behaviour comes, however, at high energetic cost. Based on helico

Read More

Abstract Measures of teachers’ “value added” to students’ current test performance feature prominently in ongoing reforms to teacher evaluation systems

Read More