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Plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentration and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism in suicide: a prospective study in patients with depressive disorder

Authors Ai M, Wang J, Chen J, Wang W, Xu X, Gan Y, Li X, Gou X, Cao J, Lv Z, Chen X, Wang H, Ma Q, Kuang L

Received 11 January 2019

Accepted for publication 18 May 2019

Published 2 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 97—106

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PGPM.S201187

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin H. Bluth


Ming Ai,1 Jun Wang,1 Jianmei Chen,1 Wo Wang,2 Xiaoming Xu,1 Yao Gan,1 Xuemei Li,1 Xinyuan Gou,1 Jun Cao,1 Zhen Lv,1 Xiaorong Chen,1 Hengguang Wang,1 Qing Ma,2,3 Li Kuang1,2

1Department of Psychiatry, First Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 2Mental Health Center, University-Town Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 3Translational Pharmacology Research Core, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

Purpose: The relationship was investigated between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations, a BDNF polymorphism (196G>A), and the response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) among Chinese patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Patients and methods: A total of 125 patients and 91 healthy controls were enrolled. The disease progression and treatment responses were evaluated using the Hamilton depression rating scale (HAMD24), the Hamilton anxiety scale, the Beck depression index, and BDNF concentrations at the baseline, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after treatment. Responders were defined as patients with at least a 50% decrease in the HAMD24.
Results: The BDNF concentrations were significantly lower in MDD (947±297 vs 1187±236 pg/mL, p=0.019), in MDD with attempted suicide than those without (779±231 vs 993±298, p=0.024) at the baseline. The BDNF concentrations remarkably increased in response to SSRI treatment. Significant correlations were noted between the BDNF concentrations and suicide ideation or attempted suicide (p<0.01), but not with HAMD24 or depression. BDNF 196G>A correlated with neither suicide ideation nor treatment responses.
Conclusion: BDNF concentrations were significantly lower in patients with attempted suicide/ideation. BDNF concentrations could serve as a response marker for antidepressant treatment in MDD.

Keywords: brain-derived neurotrophic factor, depression, polymorphism, attempted suicide, SSRI

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