Psychopharmacology

, Volume 216, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Changes in plasma and platelet BDNF levels induced by S-citalopram in major depression

  • Montserrat Serra-Millàs
  • Irene López-Vílchez
  • Víctor Navarro
  • Ana-María Galán
  • Ginés Escolar
  • Rafael Penadés
  • Rosa Catalán
  • Lourdes Fañanás
  • Bárbara Arias
  • Cristóbal Gastó
Original Investigation

Abstract

Background

Neuroplastic processes are thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of major depression. It has been reported that serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is decreased in depressed patients.

Objectives

Compare BDNF levels in depressed patients and healthy controls in platelet poor plasma and in washed platelets. Observe the effects of 8- and 24-week treatment with S-citalopram on these levels.

Methods

We assessed the levels of BDNF in platelet poor plasma and in washed platelets from 18 major depression patients, and compared them with 14 healthy controls. Blood samples were obtained from patients before and during treatment (8 and 24 weeks) with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, S-citalopram.

Results

A significant decrease in severity of depressive symptoms was observed from the first month of treatment with S-citalopram, and symptoms continued decreasing until the 6th month. Plasma BDNF levels in untreated patients appeared significantly increased (p < 0.01) but reached values similar to those of controls at the 24th week. In contrast, levels of platelet BDNF appeared significantly decreased (p < 0.05), but treatment also normalized levels so that values obtained were equivalent to those of controls.

Conclusions

Untreated depressed patients showed increased plasma BDNF levels and decreased platelet BDNF levels, as compared with control subjects, and tend to normalize during treatment with S-citalopram for 24 weeks, with BDNF reaching levels similar to those in healthy controls at the 24th week in both samples. We observed that improvement in depressive symptoms was accompanied by normalization of plasma and platelet BDNF levels.

Keywords

Major depression Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Serum Plasma Platelets S-citalopram. Antidepressant 

Abbreviation

BDNF

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor

HDRS

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

ELISA

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays

PPP-BDNF

BDNF in platelet poor plasma

Plt-BDNF

BDNF in washed platelets

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by a grant from Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación [SAF 2008-05674-C03-03 and Red HERACLES RD06/0009/1003], and by Ministerio de Sanidad [FIS CP04-00112, FIS PS09-0664] from the Spanish Government.

Registered in Current Controlled Trials as ISRCTN11216093—Changes in plasma and platelet Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels induced by S-citalopram in major depression

The authors report no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Montserrat Serra-Millàs
    • 1
  • Irene López-Vílchez
    • 2
  • Víctor Navarro
    • 3
  • Ana-María Galán
    • 2
  • Ginés Escolar
    • 2
  • Rafael Penadés
    • 3
  • Rosa Catalán
    • 3
  • Lourdes Fañanás
    • 4
  • Bárbara Arias
    • 4
  • Cristóbal Gastó
    • 3
  1. 1.Servei de Salut MentalConsorci Hospitalari de VicVic BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Servei d’Hemoteràpia i Hemostàsia, Hospital ClínicCentre de Diagnòstic Biomèdic, IDIBAPS, Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institut de Neurociències, Hospital ClínicUniversitat de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, CIBERSAMBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Unitat d’Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Facultat de Biologia i Institut de Biomedicina (IBUB)Universitat de Barcelona, CIBERSAM, Instituto de Salud Carlos IIIBarcelonaSpain

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