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Decreased plasma neuroactive amino acids and increased nitric oxide levels in melancholic major depressive disorder.

Lu, Yun-Rong; Fu, Xin-Yan; Shi, Li-Gen; Jiang, Yan; Wu, Juan-Li; Weng, Xiao-Juan; Wang, Zhao-Pin; Wu, Xue-Yan; Lin, Zheng; Liu, Wei-Bo; Li, Hui-Chun; Luo, Jian-Hong; Bao, Ai-Min.
BMC Psychiatry; 14: 123, 2014 Apr 27.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24767108


Amino acid neurotransmitters and nitric oxide (NO) are involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we want to establish whether changes in their plasma levels may serve as biomarker for the melancholic subtype of this disorder.


Plasma levels of glutamic acid (Glu), aspartic acid (Asp), glycine (Gly), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and NO were determined in 27 medicine-naïve melancholic MDD patients and 30 matched controls. Seven of the MDD patients participated also in a follow-up study after 2 months' antidepressant treatment. The relationship between plasma and cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF) levels of these compounds was analyzed in an additional group of 10 non-depressed subjects.


The plasma levels of Asp, Gly and GABA were significantly lower whereas the NO levels were significantly higher in melancholic MDD patients, also after 2 months of fluoxetine treatment. In the additional 10 non-depressed subjects, no significant correlation was observed between plasma and CSF levels of these compounds.


These data give the first indication that decreased plasma levels of Asp, Gly and GABA and increased NO levels may serve as a clinical trait-marker for melancholic MDD. The specificity and selectivity of this putative trait-marker has to be investigated in follow-up studies.
Selo DaSilva