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Decreased levels of whole blood glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in remitted patients with mood disorders

Minoru Takebayashi, Kazue Hisaoka, Akira Nishida, Mami Tsuchioka, Izuru Miyoshi, Tosirou Kozuru, Satoshi Hikasa, Yasumasa Okamoto, Hideto Shinno, Shigeru Morinobu, Shigeto Yamawaki
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145705006085 607-612 First published online: 1 October 2006


Recent post-mortem and imaging studies provide evidence for a glial reduction in different brain areas in mood disorders. This study was aimed to test whether glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a member of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β superfamily, in blood levels was associated with mood disorders. We measured GDNF and TGF-β levels in whole blood in remitted patients with mood disorders [n=56; major depressive disorders (MDD) 39, bipolar disorders (BD) 17] and control subjects (n=56). GDNF and TGF-β were assayed with the sandwich ELISA method. Total GDNF levels were significantly lower in MDD and in BD than in control subjects (MDD, p=0.0003; BD, p=0.018), while no significant difference in total TGF-β1 or total TGF-β2 levels was found in these groups. Our study suggests that lower GDNF levels might be involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, although this preliminary study has several limitations.

Key words
  • GDNF
  • mood disorders
  • transforming growth factor (TGF)
  • whole blood