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High levels of Nesfatin-1 in relation to the dysfunction of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal and hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axes in depressed patients with subclinical hypothyroidism

Authors Xu YY, Liang J, Cao Y, Shan F, Liu Y, Xia QR

Received 5 April 2017

Accepted for publication 7 June 2017

Published 23 June 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 1647—1653


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Ya-Yun Xu,1,2 Jun Liang,1,2 Yin Cao,1,2 Feng Shan,1,2 Yang Liu,1,2 Qing-Rong Xia1,2

1Department of Pharmacy, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei, People’s Republic of China; 2Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Despite the increasing amount of evidence suggesting a relationship between depression and subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH), the exact mechanism underlying this relationship remains unclear. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of plasma Nesfatin-1 levels and dysfunction of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) axes in the comorbidity of depression and SCH. Dysfunctions of the HPA and HPT axes were detected by measuring plasma corticosterone and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations, respectively. Subjects in the patient group were selected from patients hospitalized at the Anhui Mental Health Center, and subjects in the control group were recruited from healthy volunteers. Healthy control subjects were matched to the patients in terms of weight and body mass index. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was administered to both the groups. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method was used to measure plasma Nesfatin-1, corticosterone, and TSH levels. A radioimmunoassay kit was used for the measurement of the plasma-free triiodothyronine and plasma-free thyroxine. The results showed that the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores and average Nesfatin-1, corticosterone, and TSH levels were significantly higher in depressed patients with SCH than in the control group. Moreover, positive relationships were observed between Nesfatin-1 levels and the concentrations of corticosterone (r=0.626, P<0.001) and TSH (r=0.229, P=0.036) in depressed patients with SCH. These findings indicate that Nesfatin-1 is involved in the comorbidity of depression and SCH, and the mechanism underlying this involvement might be related to the dysfunction of the HPA and HPT axes.

Keywords: corticosterone, depression, HPA axis, HPT axis, TSH, SCH

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