ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (12): 1882-1888.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01882

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The role of epigenetic regulation in stress-induced depression

ZHANG Ke; ZHAO Mei; LIN Wenjuan   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China) (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
  • Received:2016-05-24 Online:2016-12-15 Published:2016-12-15
  • Contact: LIN Wenjuan, E-mail:


Exposure to stress could have a negative impact on the individual’s physiological function and behavior, and even cause depression. However, the mechanism is still unclear. In recent years, research shows that the epigenetic regulation influences the onset of stress-induced depression. Epigenetics refers to the various processes leading to long-term heritable changes in gene expression without alteration of the DNA base sequence. Stress-induced epigenetic regulation from the aspects of HPA axis, monoamine neurotransmitters, and the BDNF, plays a vital role in the onset of depression. The epigenetic limitations and future research hotspots were also discussed.

Key words: stress, epigenetics, depression, DNA methylation, histone modification