Gene Expression Profiles in Relation to Tension and Dissociation in Borderline Personality Disorder

Abstract

<div><p>The biological underpinnings of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and its psychopathology including states of aversive tension and dissociation is poorly understood. Our goal was to examine transcriptional changes associated with states of tension or dissociation within individual patients in a pilot study. Dissociation is not only a critical symptom of BPD but has also been associated with higher risk for self-mutilation and depression. We conducted a whole blood gene expression profile analysis using quantitative PCR in 31 female inpatients with BPD. For each individual, two samples were drawn during a state of high tension and dissociation, while two samples were drawn at non-tension states. There was no association between gene expression and tension states. However, we could show that Interleukin-6 was positively correlated to dissociation scores, whereas Guanine nucleotide-binding protein G(s) subunit alpha isoforms, Mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 and 8, Guanine nucleotide-binding protein G(i) subunit alpha-2, Beta-arrestin-1 and 2, and Cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein were negatively correlated to dissociation. Our data point to a potential association of dissociation levels with the expression of genes involved in immune system regulation as well as cellular signalling/second-messenger systems. Major limitations of the study are the the possibly heterogeneous cell proportions in whole blood and the heterogeneous medication.</p></div

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