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Oxidant/antioxidant imbalance is an inherent feature of depression

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Talarowska, J Szemraj, Michael BerkMichael Berk, M. Maes, P Gałecki
BACKGROUND: 50% to 60% of the people who have recovered from the first episode of depression experience a relapse. The immune system of the people suffering from depression is in a permanent state of pathological pro-inflammatory readiness. There are some reports that depressive episodes cause sensitization of immune-inflammatory pathways and that staing of depression (e.g. number of depressive episodes) is correlated with immune-inflammatory markers. The main objective of the study was to delineate whether recurrent major depression (rDD) is characterized by alterations in selected immune-inflammatory biomarkers as compared with first episode of depression (ED-I), i.e. expression of mRNA and enzymatic activity of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD, SOD-2), myeloperoxidase (MPO), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS, NOS-2), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). METHODS: The study was carried out in a group of 131 patients: ED-I group - 42 patients, rDD group - 89 patients. Depression severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). The number of depression episodes and the disease duration periods were recorded in each patient. For the patients, HDRS was administered at admission during the symptomatic phase, which would generally be either before or shortly after modification of the previous antidepressant drug regimen. Reassessment of the mental condition was conducted after 8 weeks of the pharmacological treatment also with the use of the HDRS scale. RESULTS: No significant statistical differences were found between the analysed groups as regards the intensity of depressive disorders. No differences in the expression of MnSOD, MPO, COX-2 and i-NOS genes on the level of both mRNA and protein were observed between both groups. No significant interrelation was noticed between the number of depression episodes experienced and the expression of selected genes on the mRNA level and protein level. CONCLUSIONS: There is no significant difference in MnSOD, MPO, COX-2 and i-NOS between patients with recurrent depressive disorders and those in a first episode of depression. These findings suggest that these enzymes are trait markers of depression and are not related to staging of depression.



BMC psychiatry






1 - 7


BioMed Central


London, Eng.





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C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2015, BioMed Central