Altered Purine Metabolism Linked to Depression

Summary: According to researchers, people with major depressive disorder could have altered purine metabolism.

Source: University of East Finland.

People suffering from major depressive disorder may have altered purine metabolism, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. Purines are nitrogenous compounds that serve as building blocks for DNA and they also play a role in cellular signalling, among other things.

The study found that in people with depression, purine metabolism is partially hyperactive. “This can be the body’s way of combating the adverse effects of increased oxidative stress present in depression,” says PhD student Toni Ali-Sisto, the first author of the study. The findings were published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

The study carried out by the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital involved 99 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder and 253 non-depressed controls. The study participants’ fasting serum concentrations of seven different purine cycle metabolites were analysed, and these concentrations were compared between the depressed and the healthy. The study also analysed whether the concentrations changed in people with depression during a follow-up of eight months, and whether remission of depression had an effect on the concentrations.

“Out of the purine metabolites we analysed, the concentrations of inosine and guanosine were lower, and the concentrations of xanthine were higher in people with depression than in healthy persons,” Ali-Sisto says.

The concentrations of several metabolites changed in people with depression during the follow-up, but no significant differences were observed between remitted and non-remitted groups. The use of anti-depressants or anti-psychotics did not affect the concentrations of purine metabolites.

Image shows a depressed woman.
The study also analysed whether the concentrations changed in people with depression during a follow-up of eight months, and whether remission of depression had an effect on the concentrations. NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrative purposes only.

Uric acid, the end product of purine metabolism, is produced from xanthine and it is an antioxidant combating the adverse effects of oxidative stress. Thus, the increased xanthine production may be the body’s compensatory mechanism seeking to increase the production of uric acid in order to combat increased oxidative stress caused by depression.

Changes in purine metabolism have also been observed in association to low-grade inflammation and increased oxidative stress. Both of these are also associated with depression, but little research into the role of purine metabolism in depression has been conducted so far.

[divider]About this psychology research article[/divider]

Funding: Finnish Cultural Foundation funded this study.

Source: Soili Lehto – University of East Finland
Image Source: This NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Purine metabolism is dysregulated in patients with major depressive disorder” by Toni Ali-Sisto, Tommi Tolmunen, Elena Toffol, Heimo Viinamäki, Pekka Mäntyselkä, Minna Valkonen-Korhonen, Kirsi Honkalampi, Anu Ruusunen, Vidya Velagapudi, and Soili M. Lehto in Psychoneuroendocrinology. Published online April 29 2016 doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.04.017

[divider]Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article[/divider]

[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]University of East Finland. “Altered Purine Metabolism Linked to Depression.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 17 May 2016.
<https://neurosciencenews.com/depression-purine-metabolism-4240/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]University of East Finland. (2016, May 17). Altered Purine Metabolism Linked to Depression. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved May 17, 2016 from https://neurosciencenews.com/depression-purine-metabolism-4240/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]University of East Finland. “Altered Purine Metabolism Linked to Depression.” https://neurosciencenews.com/depression-purine-metabolism-4240/ (accessed May 17, 2016).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]


Abstract

Purine metabolism is dysregulated in patients with major depressive disorder

Introduction
The purine cycle and altered purinergic signaling have been suggested to play a role in major depressive disorder (MDD). Nevertheless, data on this topic are scarce. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that compared with non-depressed controls, MDD patients have distinct purine metabolite profiles.

Methods
The samples comprised 99 MDD patients and 253 non-depressed controls, aged 20–71 years. Background data were collected with questionnaires. Fasting serum samples were analyzed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS) to determine seven purine cycle metabolites belonging to the purine cycle. We investigated the levels of these metabolites in three settings: (1) MDD patients vs. non-depressed controls and (2) remitted vs. non-remitted MDD patients, and also (3) within-group changes in metabolite levels during the follow-up period.

Results
In logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, smoking, alcohol use, physical exercise, glycosylated hemoglobin, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lower levels of inosine (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.82–0.97) and guanosine (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.17–0.59), and higher levels of xanthine (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.30–3.75) were associated with MDD vs. the non-depressed group. Levels of several metabolites changed significantly during the follow-up period in the MDD group, but there were no differences between remitted and non-remitted groups.

Conclusions
We observed altered purine metabolism in MDD patients compared with non-depressed controls. Furthermore, our observations suggest that circulating xanthine may accumulate in MDD patients.

“Purine metabolism is dysregulated in patients with major depressive disorder” by Toni Ali-Sisto, Tommi Tolmunen, Elena Toffol, Heimo Viinamäki, Pekka Mäntyselkä, Minna Valkonen-Korhonen, Kirsi Honkalampi, Anu Ruusunen, Vidya Velagapudi, and Soili M. Lehto in Psychoneuroendocrinology. Published online April 29 2016 doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.04.017

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