Integrative transcriptomic meta-analysis of Parkinson's disease and depression identifies NAMPT as a potential blood biomarker for de novo Parkinson's disease

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 29;6:34579. doi: 10.1038/srep34579.


Emerging research indicates that depression could be one of the earliest prodromal symptoms or risk factors associated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide, but the mechanisms underlying the association between both diseases remains unknown. Understanding the molecular networks linking these diseases could facilitate the discovery of novel diagnostic and therapeutics. Transcriptomic meta-analysis and network analysis of blood microarrays from untreated patients with PD and depression identified genes enriched in pathways related to the immune system, metabolism of lipids, glucose, fatty acids, nicotinamide, lysosome, insulin signaling and type 1 diabetes. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), an adipokine that plays a role in lipid and glucose metabolism, was identified as the most significant dysregulated gene. Relative abundance of NAMPT was upregulated in blood of 99 early stage and drug-naïve PD patients compared to 101 healthy controls (HC) nested in the cross-sectional Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). Thus, here we demonstrate that shared molecular networks between PD and depression provide an additional source of biologically relevant biomarkers. Evaluation of NAMPT in a larger prospective longitudinal study including samples from other neurodegenerative diseases, and patients at risk of PD is warranted.