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Search for genetic, epigenetic and molecular markers of post-traumatic stress disorder

Grant number: 15/26473-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 04, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Síntia Iole Nogueira Belangero
Grantee:Carolina Muniz Felix de Carvalho
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/12559-5 - Posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroprogression: new approaches to understand the effects of violence on mental functioning, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/05995-4 - Dissecting the causal role of anthropometric traits in the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder in women, BE.EP.DR


Introduction. The posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a framework triggered by exposure to a trauma that endangers the physical integrity of the individual, characterized by symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, hypervigilance and anhedonia. The etiology of PTSD is multifactorial, it is suggested that depends on interactions between multiple genetic and environmental factors, but few studies have identified consistently, the specific genetic predictors for PTSD in women victims of sexual violence. Aim. Evaluate whether there are genetic evidence at four different levels (genomic, transcriptional, cellular / genomic and epigenetic) associated with the diagnosis of PTSD and sexual abuse, as well as assess whether there is an association with the severity of PTSD symptoms. Material and methods. They will be evaluated 100 women victims of sexual violence diagnosed with PTSD and 100 healthy women without history of trauma and mental disorders. The determination of the genotypes for each polymorphism of the samples will be based on allele discrimination using the Taqman® system, through real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Gene expression analysis is also performed using real-time PCR with TaqMan® system. For measuring the length of telomeric region is used real-time PCR using SYBR Green®, as a reporter and quantification is made by standard curve method on. Finally, DNA methylation analysis is performed by modification of the technique of sodium bisulfite followed by Sanger sequencing. Expected results. Identify polymorphisms associated with the risk of developing PTSD, find differentially expressed genes, check if there is a telomere shortening in patients diagnosed with PTSD compared to the control group and find epigenetic modifications associated with candidate genes.