0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Patients With Remitted Depression
PAUL MACKIN, M.B., B.S., Ph.D., M.R.C.Psych.; PETER GALLAGHER, B.Sc., M.Phil.
Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:2399-a-2399. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.12.2399-a

To the Editor: We read with interest the article by Alexander Neumeister, M.D., and colleagues (1). The neurobiology of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is complex and influenced by a number of different hormonal systems, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is known to be dysfunctional in patients with severe mood disorders. Stress-responsive corticosteroids, which are the end products of the HPA axis, have been shown to have important effects on the expression of BDNF in preclinical studies (2). We have also recently shown an interaction between cortisol and serum levels of BDNF in patients with bipolar depression and schizophrenia (3). Furthermore, tryptophan depletion has been shown to lower cortisol levels in patients with mood disorders (4) as well as in healthy comparison subjects (5). Of interest, sham tryptophan depletion has also been reported to cause a significant decrease of plasma cortisol (4). Changes in cortisol levels may, therefore, account for the increases in BDNF following sham depletion observed by Dr. Neumeister and colleagues.

The data presented by Dr. Neumeister et al. may indeed suggest an intimate link between the serotonergic and neurotrophic systems, but in the absence of any data regarding HPA axis function in these patients (and healthy subjects), it remains a possibility that the observed changes of expression of BDNF are secondary to differences in cortisol production. We advocate that further studies of BDNF in mood disorders also investigate HPA axis function.

Neumeister A, Yuan P, Young TA, Bonne O, Luckenbaugh DA, Charney DS, Manji H: Effects of tryptophan depletion on serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in unmedicated patients with remitted depression and healthy subjects. Am J Psychiatry  2005; 162:805–807
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Smith MA, Makino S, Kvetnansky R, Post RM: Stress and glucocorticoids affect the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 mRNAs in the hippocampus. J Neurosci  1995; 15:1768–1777
[PubMed]
 
Mackin P, Gallagher P, Watson S, Ferrier I, Young AH: Changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) following treatment with mifepristone (RU486) in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry  2005; 57:132S-133S
 
Johnson L, El-Khoury A, Aberg-Wistedt A, Stain-Malmgren R, Mathe AA: Tryptophan depletion in lithium-stabilized patients with affective disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol  2001; 4:329–336
[PubMed]
 
Vielhaber K, Riemann D, Feige B, Kuelz A, Kirschbaum C, Voderholzer U: Impact of experimentally induced serotonin deficiency by tryptophan depletion on saliva cortisol concentrations. Pharmacopsychiatry  2005; 38:87–94
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
+

References

Neumeister A, Yuan P, Young TA, Bonne O, Luckenbaugh DA, Charney DS, Manji H: Effects of tryptophan depletion on serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in unmedicated patients with remitted depression and healthy subjects. Am J Psychiatry  2005; 162:805–807
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Smith MA, Makino S, Kvetnansky R, Post RM: Stress and glucocorticoids affect the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 mRNAs in the hippocampus. J Neurosci  1995; 15:1768–1777
[PubMed]
 
Mackin P, Gallagher P, Watson S, Ferrier I, Young AH: Changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) following treatment with mifepristone (RU486) in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry  2005; 57:132S-133S
 
Johnson L, El-Khoury A, Aberg-Wistedt A, Stain-Malmgren R, Mathe AA: Tryptophan depletion in lithium-stabilized patients with affective disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol  2001; 4:329–336
[PubMed]
 
Vielhaber K, Riemann D, Feige B, Kuelz A, Kirschbaum C, Voderholzer U: Impact of experimentally induced serotonin deficiency by tryptophan depletion on saliva cortisol concentrations. Pharmacopsychiatry  2005; 38:87–94
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 45.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 11.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 10.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 45.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
APA Guidelines
PubMed Articles