Sci Rep. 2015 Jan 15;5:7796. doi: 10.1038/srep07796.

Reduced cerebrospinal fluid ethanolamine concentration in major depressive disorder.


Amino acids play key roles in the function of the central nervous system, and their alterations are implicated in psychiatric disorders. In the search for a biomarker for major depressive disorder (MDD), we used high-performance liquid chromatography to measure amino acids and related molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 52 patients with MDD (42 depressed and 10 remitted; DSM-IV) and 54 matched controls. Significant differences were found in four amino acid concentrations between the depressed patients and controls. After Bonferroni correction, only ethanolamine (EA) levels remained significantly reduced in depressed patients (nominal P = 0.0000011). A substantial proportion of the depressed patients (40.5%) showed abnormally low CSF EA levels (<12.1 μM) (P = 0.000033; OR = 11.6, 95% CI: 3.1-43.2). When patients with low EA and those with high EA levels were compared, the former had higher scores for overall depression severity (P = 0.0033) and 'Somatic Anxiety' symptoms (P = 0.00026). In unmedicated subjects, CSF EA levels showed a significant positive correlation with levels of homovanillic acid (P = 0.0030) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (P = 0.019). To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that patients with MDD have significantly lower CSF EA concentrations compared with control subjects. CSF EA could be a state-dependent biomarker for a subtype of MDD.



PMID:  25589364