Genetic biomarkers in association with depressive disorder in UAE residents: A pilot case study

Nailah Mahmood, Rukhsana Nawaz, Hidaya Abdul Kadir, Fadwa Al Mughairbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We sought to explore the expression of genes associated with depressive disorder in patients with depression compared to control patients. A large body of research in the area of genetics has shown familial aggregation for depressive disorders. The purpose of this study was to identify genetic risk factors in developing depression, particularly among the population residing in the UAE. Methods: We investigated five associated genes (PPARGC1A, CAMKMT, HSD11B1, SLC6A4, and MAOA) previously linked to depression and anxiety in other populations. The study was carried out in Al Ain, although participants were from different nationalities. Blood samples were collected over a period of seven months, and lab work was carried out over a period of two months from September 1, 2018 to May 30, 2019. We screened the prevalence of the PPARGC1A, CAMKMT, HSD11B1, SLC6A4, and MAOA in 29 patients with depressive disorder and 30 controls using the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method. Results: The expression of the PPARGC1A gene, studied for the first time in the UAE population. The independent t-test was used to check the significance of difference between the expression levels of target genes where the control was set at a reference level of 1.0. PPARGC1A gene is lower among the depressed group which showed mean difference: 0.4 and p-value: 0.02, indicating a strong association with depression. No significant difference was found in the genes’ expression of CAMKMT with p-value 0.150, MAOA p-value 0.070, SLC6A4 p-value 0.750, and HSD11B1 p-value 0.100 in two groups in comparison with (p < 0.050). Conclusions: These results open several possibilities for further research to study the role of this gene as a protective factor against developing depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere293
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Biomarkers
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Gene Expression
  • SLC6A4 protein, human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic biomarkers in association with depressive disorder in UAE residents: A pilot case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this