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Plos One


Background: Cross-sectional and retrospective studies have associated major depressive disorder with glial activation and injury as well as blood-brain barrier disruption, but these associations have not been assessed prospectively. Here, we aimed to determine the relationship between changes in depressive symptom severity and in blood levels of S-100 calcium-binding protein B (S-100B), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6 following an inflammatory challenge. Methods: Fifty unselected participants were recruited from a randomized, controlled trial comparing coronary artery bypass grafting procedures performed with versus without cardiopulmonary bypass for the risk of neurocognitive decline. Depressive symptom severity was measured at baseline, discharge, and six-month follow-up using the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). The primary outcome of the present biomarker study was acute change in depressive symptom severity, defined as the intra-subject difference between baseline and discharge BDI-II scores. Blood biomarker levels were determined at baseline and 2 days postoperative. Results: Changes in S-100B levels correlated positively with acute changes in depressive symptom severity (Spearman rho, 0.62; P = 0.0004) and accounted for about one-fourth of their observed variance (R-2, 0.23; P = 0.0105). This association remained statistically significant after adjusting for baseline S-100B levels, age, weight, body-mass index, or beta-blocker use, but not baseline BDI-II scores (P = 0.064). There was no statistically significant association between the primary outcome and baseline S-100B levels, baseline high-sensitivity C-reactive protein or interleukin-6 levels, or changes in high-sensitivity Creactive protein or interleukin-6 levels. Among most participants, levels of all three biomarkers were normal at baseline and markedly elevated at 2 days postoperative. Conclusions: Acute changes in depressive symptom severity were specifically associated with incremental changes in S-100B blood levels, largely independent of covariates associated with either. These findings support the hypothesis that glial activation and injury and blood-brain barrier disruption can be mechanistically linked to acute exacerbation of depressive symptoms in some individuals.

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School of Medicine

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Neurology Commons