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

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Polyakova,  Maryna
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Leipzig, Germany;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Beyer,  Frauke
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Mueller,  Karsten
Methods and Development Unit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Witte,  A. Veronica
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Lampe,  Leonie
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany;

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Schroeter,  Matthias L.
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases (LIFE), University of Leipzig, Germany;
Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany;

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Polyakova_2020.pdf
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Citation

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.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-3461-1
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.