Proteomic Analysis of the Antidepressant Effects of Shen–Zhi–Ling in Depressed Patients: Identification of Proteins Associated with Platelet Activation and Lipid Metabolism
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Shen–Zhi–Ling (SZL) is a Chinese medicine formulated from a Kai–Xin–San decoction that is commonly used to treat depression caused by dual deficiencies in the heart and spleen. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated biological changes in depression patients (DPs) exhibiting antidepressant responses to SZL treatment using proteomic techniques. We performed label-free quantitative proteomic analysis and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry to discover and examine altered proteins involved in depression and antidepressant treatment. Serum samples were collected from DPs, DPs who underwent 8 weeks of SZL treatment and healthy controls (HCs). The proteins that differed among the three groups were further validated by Western blot analysis. By performing multivariate analyses, we identified 12 potential serum biomarkers that were differentially expressed among the HC, DP, and SZL groups. We then confirmed the significant changes in alpha-1-antitrypsin, von Willebrand factors, apolipoprotein C-III, and alpha-2-macroglobulin among the three groups by performing Western blot analysis, which supported the proteomic results. Profiling the proteomic changes in DPs treated with SZL could improve our understanding of the pathways involved in SZL responses, such as alterations in platelet activation, inflammatory regulation, and lipid metabolism. Future studies involving larger patient cohorts are necessary to draw more definitive conclusions.
KeywordsProteomics Depression Antidepressant effect Shen–Zhi–Ling Kai–Xin–San Platelet activation
This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 81673877, 81373996, and 81173430).
PL and CC conceived and designed the experiments. CC and XD performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. CC and PL analyzed the data. YH, XZ, and LM contributed materials. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All the experimental protocols involving human subjects were approved by the Ethics Committee of the Fourth Military Medical University (Xi’an, China).
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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