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Authors: Michal, Matthias
Schulz, Andreas
Wild, Philipp S.
Koeck, Thomas
Münzel, Thomas
Schuster, Alexander K.
Strauch, Konstantin
Lackner, Karl
Süssmuth, Sigurd D.
Niessen, Heiko G.
Borta, Andreas
Allers, Kelly A.
Zahn, Daniela
Beutel, Manfred E.
Title: Tryptophan catabolites and depression in the general population : results from the Gutenberg Health Study
Online publication date: 25-Aug-2023
Year of first publication: 2023
Language: english
Abstract: Previous studies reported significantly altered tryptophan catabolite concentrations in major depression. Thus, tryptophan catabolites were considered as potential biomarkers of depression and their modulators as potential targets for psychopharmacotherapy. However, the results were based mainly on studies with small sample sizes limiting their generalizability. Against this background, we investigated the relationship of peripheral tryptophan catabolites with depression in a population-based sample with n = 3,389 participants (with fasting status ≥ 8 h and C-reactive protein < 10 mg/L). N = 248 had clinically significant depression according to a PHQ-9 score of ≥ 10, n = 1,101 subjects had mild depressive symptoms with PHQ-9 scores between 5 and 9, and n = 2,040 had no depression. After multivariable adjustment, clinically significant depression was associated with lower kynurenine and kynurenic acid. Spearman correlation coefficients of the tryptophan catabolites with the severity of depression were very small (rho ≤ 0.080, p ≤ 0.015). None of the tryptophan catabolites could diagnostically separate depressed from not depressed persons. Concerning linear associations, kynurenine and kynurenic acid were associated only with the severity and the cognitive dimension of depression but not its somatic dimension. Tryptophan catabolites were not associated with persistence or recurrence of depression at the 5 year follow-up. The results replicated the association between kynurenine and kynurenic acid with depression. However, the associations were small raising doubts about their clinical utility. Findings underline the complexity of the relationships between depression and tryptophan catabolites. The search for subgroups of depression with a potentially higher impact of depression might be warranted.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: BMC psychiatry
Pages or article number: 27
Publisher: BioMed Central
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2023
ISSN: 1471-244X
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/s12888-023-04520-6
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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