Journal Article Altered KYN/TRP, Gln/Glu, and Met/methionine sulfoxide ratios in the blood plasma of medication-free patients with major depressive disorder

Umehara, Hidehiro  ,  Numata, Shusuke  ,  Watanabe, Shin-ya  ,  Hatakeyama, Yutaka  ,  Kinoshita, Makoto  ,  Tomioka, Yukiko  ,  Nakahara, Kiyoshi  ,  Nikawa, Takeshi  ,  Ohmori, Tetsuro

7p.4855 , 2017-07-07
Capillary electrophoresis-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE-TOFMS) is a comprehensive, quantitative, and high throughput tool used to analyze metabolite profiles. In the present study, we used CE-TOFMS to profile metabolites found in the blood plasma of 33 medication-free patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 33 non-psychiatric control subjects. We then investigated changes which occurred in the metabolite levels during an 8-week treatment period. The medication-free MDD patients and control subjects showed significant differences in their mean levels of 33 metabolites, including kynurenine (KYN), glutamate (Glu), glutamine (Gln), methionine sulfoxide, and methionine (Met). In particular, the ratios of KYN to tryptophan (TRP), Gln to Glu, and Met to methionine sulfoxide were all significantly different between the two groups. Among the 33 metabolites with altered levels in MDD patients, the levels of KYN and Gln, as well as the ratio of Gln to Glu, were significantly normalized after treatment. Our findings suggest that imbalances in specific metabolite levels may be involved in the pathogenesis of MDD, and provide insight into the mechanisms by which antidepressant agents work in MDD patients.

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