Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 17;5:11412. doi: 10.1038/srep11412.
Increased cerebrospinal fluid fibrinogen in major depressive disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) presumably includes heterogeneous subgroups with differing pathologies. To obtain a marker reflecting such a subgroup, we analyzed the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of fibrinogen, which has been reported to be elevated in the plasma of patients with MDD. Three fibrinogen-related proteins were measured using aptamer-based analyses and CSF samples of 30 patients with MDD and 30 controls. The numbers of patients with an excessively high level (>99 percentile of the controls) was significantly increased (17 to 23%). Measurement reproducibility of these results was confirmed by an ELISA for fibrinogen (Pearson's r = 0.77). In an independent sample set from 36 patients and 30 controls, using the ELISA, results were similar (22%). When these two sample sets were combined, the number of patients with a high fibrinogen level was significantly increased (15/66; odds ratio 8.53; 95% confidence interval 1.9-39.1, p = 0.0011). By using diffusion tensor imaging, we found white matter tracts abnormalities in patients with a high fibrinogen level but not those patients with a normal fibrinogen level, compared with controls. Plasma fibrinogen levels were similar among the diagnostic groups. Our results point to a subgroup of MDD represented by increased CSF fibrinogen and white matter tract abnormalities.