Benoit Labonté published results in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine showing that depression is expressed differently in the brains of men and women. In this article, in which he is the first author, Benoit Labonté explains: "Depression affect the activity of neurons in different regions of the brain. In men and women, the genes expressed in depression were very different, and were the same only in 5 to 10% of the cases. Even in cases where the expression of the same genes were modified by depression, often, it was in opposite directions, for example overexpressed in depressed men and underexpressed in depressed women."
The results observed in human brains were confirmed in stressed mice, which serve as model animals for depression. These results suggest that diagnostic and treatment approaches should be adapted, and possibly distinct for both sexes, in order to reflect the observed differences. These results also explain differences observed in the symptoms of depression, and could lead to personalized medicine approaches for depression.
Read a recent article in La Presse about this discovery (in French):
Read the original research article in Nature Medicine (subscription required):
Labonté B, Engmann O, Purushothaman I, Menard C, Wang J, Tan C, Scarpa JR, Moy G, Loh YE, Cahill M, Lorsch ZS, Hamilton PJ, Calipari ES, Hodes GE, Issler O, Kronman H, Pfau M, Obradovic ALJ, Dong Y, Neve RL, Russo S, Kazarskis A, Tamminga C, Mechawar N, Turecki G, Zhang B, Shen L, Nestler EJ. Sex-specific transcriptional signatures in human depression. Nat Med. 2017 Aug 21. doi: 10.1038/nm.4386.