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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2017 Jun;14(6):499-514. doi: 10.1080/14789450.2017.1336435.

Major depressive disorder: insight into candidate cerebrospinal fluid protein biomarkers from proteomics studies.

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a Department of Neurology , Ulm University , Ulm , Germany.
b CNS Diseases Research , Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG , Biberach an der Riss , Germany.
c Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy III , University of Ulm , Ulm , Germany.


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of global disability, and an increasing body of literature suggests different cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins as biomarkers of MDD. The aim of this review is to summarize the suggested CSF biomarkers and to analyze the MDD proteomics studies of CSF and brain tissues for promising biomarker candidates. Areas covered: The review includes the human studies found by a PubMed search using the following terms: 'depression cerebrospinal fluid biomarker', 'major depression biomarker CSF', 'depression CSF biomarker', 'proteomics depression', 'proteomics biomarkers in depression', 'proteomics CSF biomarker in depression', and 'major depressive disorder CSF'. The literature analysis highlights promising biomarker candidates and demonstrates conflicting results on others. It reveals 42 differentially regulated proteins in MDD that were identified in more than one proteomics study. It discusses the diagnostic potential of the biomarker candidates and their association with the suggested pathologies. Expert commentary: One ultimate goal of finding biomarkers for MDD is to improve the diagnostic accuracy to achieve better treatment outcomes; due to the heterogeneous nature of MDD, using bio-signatures could be a good strategy to differentiate MDD from other neuropsychiatric disorders. Notably, further validation studies of the suggested biomarkers are still needed.


CSF; MDD; Mass spectrometry; biomarker; brain tissues; cerebrospinal fluid; depression; exosomes; protein biomarker; proteomics

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