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Nesfatin-1 and cortisol: potential novel diagnostic biomarkers in moderate and severe depressive disorder

Authors Xu YY, Ge JF, Liang J, Cao Y, Shan F, Liu Y, Yan CY, Xia QR

Received 8 August 2018

Accepted for publication 14 September 2018

Published 16 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 495—502


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Ya-Yun Xu,1,2 Jin-Fang Ge,3 Jun Liang,1,2 Yin Cao,1,2 Feng Shan,1,2 Yang Liu,1,2 Chun-Yu Yan,1,2 Qing-Rong Xia1,2

1Department of Pharmacy, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei 230022, China; 2Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei 230032, China; 3Anhui Key Laboratory of Bioactivity of Natural Products, School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China

Background: This study aimed to determine whether plasma nesfatin-1, cortisol, and inflammatory cytokines could be used as novel noninvasive biomarkers for the diagnosis of moderate and severe depressive disorder (MSDD).
Materials and methods: A total of 70 patients with MSDD and 70 healthy subjects were assessed. Patients with MSDD were selected from Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Anhui Mental Health Center, and subjects in the control group were selected from healthy volunteers. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 (HAMD-17) was used to evaluate the two groups. ELISA was used for the measurement of plasma nesfatin-1, cortisol, IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels. The diagnostic value of plasma nesfatin-1, cortisol, IL-6, CRP, and TNF-α for MSDD was assessed.
Results: Compared to healthy controls, the HAMD-17 scores and average nesfatin-1, cortisol, IL-6, and CRP levels in patients with MSDD were significantly increased. Moreover, multivariate linear regression analysis showed that HAMD-17 score was positively associated with plasma nesfatin-1 and cortisol. Furthermore, the results of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed an area under curve (AUC) of 0.985 with 94.3% sensitivity and 97.1% specificity of nesfatin-1, and an AUC of 0.957 with 91.4% sensitivity and 85.7% specificity of cortisol in discriminating patients with MSDD from healthy volunteers. A combined ROC analysis using nesfatin-1 and cortisol revealed an AUC of 0.993 with a sensitivity of 97.1% and a specificity of 98.6% in separating patients with MSDD from healthy volunteers.
Conclusion: These results suggest that plasma nesfatin-1 and cortisol might be potential novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of MSDD.

Keywords: C-reactive protein, cortisol, IL-6, depression, nesfatin-1, tumor necrosis factor-α

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