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J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jan;46(1):135-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.09.007. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Circulating Glial-derived neurotrophic factor is reduced in late-life depression.

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Laboratory of Neuroscience (LIM 27), Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos 785, 3rd floor, 05403-010-São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



The Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is part of the TGF-β superfamily and is abundantly expressed in the central nervous system. Changes in GDNF homeostasis have been reported in affective disorders.


To assess serum GDNF concentration in elderly subjects with late-life depression, before antidepressant treatment, as compared to healthy elderly controls.


Thirty-four elderly subjects with major depression and 37 age and gender-matched healthy elderly controls were included in this study. Diagnosis of major depression was ascertained by the SCID interview for DSM-IV and the severity of depressive symptoms was assessed by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21). Serum GDNF concentration were determined by sandwich ELISA.


Patients with major depression showed a significant reduction in GDNF levels as compared to healthy elderly controls (p < 0.001). Also, GDNF level was negatively correlated with HDRS-21 scores (r = -0.343, p = 0.003).


Our data provide evidence that GDNF may be a state marker of depressive episode in older adults. Changes in the homeostatic control of GDNF production may be a target to development of new antidepressant strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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