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  Serum BDNF levels correlate with regional cortical thickness in minor depression: A pilot study

Polyakova, M., Beyer, F., Mueller, K., Sander, C., Witte, A. V., Lampe, L., et al. (2020). Serum BDNF levels correlate with regional cortical thickness in minor depression: A pilot study. Scientific Reports, 10: 14524. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-71317-y.

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Genre: Journal Article


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Polyakova, Maryna1, 2, 3, 4, Author              
Beyer, Frauke1, 5, Author              
Mueller, Karsten6, Author              
Sander, C.2, 3, Author
Witte, A. Veronica1, 3, Author              
Lampe, Leonie1, 3, Author              
Rodrigues, F.3, 7, Author
Riedel-Heller, S.3, 7, Author
Kratzsch, J.3, 8, Author
Hoffmann, K. T.9, Author
Villringer, Arno1, 3, 10, Author              
Schoenknecht, P.2, 3, 11, Author
Schroeter, Matthias L.1, 3, 4, Author              
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634558              
7Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health (ISAP), University Hospital Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics (ILM), University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
9Department of Neuroradiology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
10Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
11Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              


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 Abstract: Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) reflects state changes in mood disorders. But its relation to brain changes in depression has rarely been investigated in humans. We assessed the association between serum BDNF, cortical thickness, or gray matter volume in 20 subjects with a minor depressive episode and 40 matched healthy subjects. Serum BDNF positively correlated with cortical thickness and volume in multiple brain regions in the minor depression group: the bilateral medial orbitofrontal cortex and rostral anterior cingulate cortex, left insula, and cingulum, right superior frontal gyrus, and other regions-regions typically affected by major depression. Interestingly, these correlations were driven by subjects with first episode depression. There was no significant association between these imaging parameters and serum BDNF in the healthy control group. Interaction analyses supported this finding. Our findings point to a specific association between serum BDNF and magnetic resonance imaging parameters in first-episode minor depression in a region- and condition-dependent manner. A positive correlation between serum BDNF and structural gray matter estimates was most consistently observed for cortical thickness. We discuss why cortical thickness should be preferred to volumetric estimates for such analyses in future studies. Results of our pilot study have to be proven in future larger-scale studies yielding higher statistical power.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-03-062020-08-102020-09-03
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71317-y
PMID: 32883977
PMC: PMC7471294
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : (713-241202, 713-241202, 14505/2470, 14575/2470)
Funding organization : Free State of Saxony
Project name : -
Grant ID : SCHR 774/5-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation
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Grant ID : PDF-IRG-1307
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Project name : -
Grant ID : MJFF-11362
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Michael J. Fox Foundation

Source 1

Title: Scientific Reports
  Abbreviation : Sci. Rep.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: London, UK : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: 14524 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2045-2322