How are messenger RNAs involved with disorders like depression? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Did you know the cells in your body have a housekeeping function called autophagy? Research by Sarven Sabunciyan and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown that aberrant messenger RNAs, or mRNAs, in pregnancy may alter this pathway and lead to postpartum depression, and may be related to depression in other populations also.

Sabunciyan: The pathway that we found that was altered actually was this thing that was called autophagy. Autophagy is a way that a cell removes cellular debris. Is what we found just in postpartum depression? Or does this apply to depression in general with things like autophagy. If we can induce autophagy and remedy some of the ailments that are associated and help patients, with just inducing autophagy that would be great. It would be even better if we can do this in people with depression.  :32

Sabunciyan says autophagy is also implicated in other mental health conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.