Psychiatry Res. 2021 Jul;301:113967. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113967. Epub 2021 Apr 27.
Serum levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor as a biomarker for mood disorders and lithium response.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. We examined serum GDNF levels in bipolar disorder (BD) patients and major depressive disorder (MDD) patients and their association with response to lithium therapy. We used a multicenter (six sites), exploratory, cross-sectional case-control design and recruited 448 subjects: 143 BD patients, 116 MDD patients, and 158 healthy controls (HCs). We evaluated the patients' clinical severity using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), and responses to lithium therapy using the Alda scale. The serum GDNF levels were significantly decreased in the BD and MDD groups compared to the HCs, with no significant difference between the BD and MDD groups. After adjustment, the serum GDNF levels in the BD and MDD patients in remission or depressive states were decreased compared to the HC values. Lower serum GDNF levels in BD patients were associated with higher CGI and Alda scores (i.e., severe illness and good response to lithium therapy, respectively). Our findings suggest that the serum GDNF level may be a biomarker for both BD and MDD in remission or depressive states. The serum GDNF level may be associated with the lithium response of BD patients.