TREM-1 and DAP12 expression in monocytes of patients with severe psychiatric disorders. EGR3, ATF3 and PU.1 as important transcription factors

Karin Weigelt, Livia A. Carvalho, Roos C. Drexhage, Annemarie Wijkhuijs, Harm de Wit, Nico J.M. van Beveren, Tom K. Birkenhäger, Veerle Bergink, Hemmo A. Drexhage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Immune activation is a characteristic of schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD). The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM-1), its' adaptor molecule DAP12 and their transcription factor (TF) PU.1 are important key genes in inflammation and expressed in activated monocytes and microglia. Aim: To test: (1) if the expressions of TREM-1, DAP12 and PU.1 are increased in monocytes of patients with severe psychiatric disorders and (2) if PU.1 and the TFs ATF3 and EGR3 (which have been found as prominent increased monocyte genes in previous studies) are involved in the regulation of TREM-1 and DAP12 expression. Methods: Using Q-PCR, we studied the gene expression of TREM-1, DAP12, PU.1, ATF3 and EGR3 in the monocytes of 73 patients with severe psychiatric disorders (27 recent onset SCZ patients, 22 BD patients and 24 MDD patients) and of 79 healthy controls (HC). Using in silico TF binding site prediction and in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we studied the actual binding of EGR3, ATF3 and PU.1 to the promoter regions of TREM-1 and DAP12. Results: 1.TREM-1 gene expression was increased in the monocytes of SCZ and BD patients and tended to be increased in the monocytes of MDD patients.2.DAP12 gene levels were neither increased in the monocytes of SCZ, BD, nor MDD patients.3.PU.1 expression levels were increased in the monocytes of MDD patients, but not in those of SCZ and BD patients.4.TREM-1 expression levels correlated in particular to ATF3 and EGR3 expression levels, DAP12 expression levels correlated in particular to PU.1 expression levels.5.We found using binding site prediction and ChIP assays that the TFs EGR3 and ATF3 indeed bound to the TREM-1 promoter, PU.1 bound to both the TREM-1 and DAP12 promoter. Conclusion: In this study, we provide evidence that TREM-1 gene expression is significantly increased in monocytes of SCZ and BD patients and that the TREM-1 gene is a target gene of the TFs ATF3 and EGR3. In MDD patients, PU.1 gene expression was increased with a tendency for TREM-1 gene over expression. Our observations support the concept that monocytes are in a pro-inflammatory state in severe psychiatric conditions and suggest differences in monocyte inflammatory set points between SCZ, BD and MDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1169
Number of pages8
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ATF3
  • EGR3
  • Inflammation
  • Monocytes
  • Psychiatry
  • TREM-1

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'TREM-1 and DAP12 expression in monocytes of patients with severe psychiatric disorders. EGR3, ATF3 and PU.1 as important transcription factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this