Chronic tinnitus and BDNF/GDNF CpG promoter methylations: a case–control study


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) are neurotrophic factors that play key roles in the auditory pathway. While the relationship between serum levels and polymorphisms of BDNF/GDNF and chronic tinnitus is emphasized in the literature, there is no study showing the link between the promoter methylations of these genes and tinnitus. For this purpose, the relationship between chronic tinnitus and peripheral blood derived BDNF/GDNF promoter methylations was investigated to identify their role in the pathophysiology of tinnitus. In this case–control study, we examined the possible effects of BDNF/GDNF methylations in the blood samples of patients with tinnitus complaints for more than 3 months. Sixty tinnitus subjects between the ages of 18–55 and 50 healthy control subjects in the same age group who were free of any otorhinolaryngology and systemic disease were selected for examination. Methylation of total 12 CpG sites in BDNF and GDNF promoter regions were determined by the bisulfite-pyrosequencing method. Statistically significant differences were detected between BDNF CpG6 and GDNF CpG3-5-6 methylation ratios in the comparison of control group and the chronic tinnitus patients (P = 0.002, 0.0005, 0.00003, and 0.0029, respectively). To our knowledge, this is the first study in the literature investigating the relationship between chronic tinnitus and peripheral blood derived BDNF/GDNF promoter methylations. It is believed that the current results might be supported by investigating the relationships between BDNF/GDNF methylations and genotypes in future research using higher sample sizes.

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Correspondence to Seda Orenay-Boyacioglu.

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Orenay-Boyacioglu, S., Caliskan, M., Boyacioglu, O. et al. Chronic tinnitus and BDNF/GDNF CpG promoter methylations: a case–control study. Mol Biol Rep 46, 3929–3936 (2019).

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  • BDNF
  • GDNF
  • Chronic tinnitus
  • Promoter methylation
  • Bisulfite-pyrosequencing