Molecular signatures of post-traumatic stress disorder in war-zone-exposed veteran and active-duty soldiers.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Cell Rep Med


washington; isb; genomics


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a multisystem syndrome. Integration of systems-level multi-modal datasets can provide a molecular understanding of PTSD. Proteomic, metabolomic, and epigenomic assays are conducted on blood samples of two cohorts of well-characterized PTSD cases and controls: 340 veterans and 180 active-duty soldiers. All participants had been deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan and exposed to military-service-related criterion A trauma. Molecular signatures are identified from a discovery cohort of 218 veterans (109/109 PTSD+/-). Identified molecular signatures are tested in 122 separate veterans (62/60 PTSD+/-) and in 180 active-duty soldiers (PTSD+/-). Molecular profiles are computationally integrated with upstream regulators (genetic/methylation/microRNAs) and functional units (mRNAs/proteins/metabolites). Reproducible molecular features of PTSD are identified, including activated inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic dysregulation, and impaired angiogenesis. These processes may play a role in psychiatric and physical comorbidities, including impaired repair/wound healing mechanisms and cardiovascular, metabolic, and psychiatric diseases.

Clinical Institute

Mental Health


Behavioral Health


Institute for Systems Biology