Gamradt S, Hasselmann H, Taenzer A, Brasanac J, Stiglbauer V, Sattler A, Sajitz-Hermstein M, Kierszniowska S, Ramien C, Nowacki J, Mascarell-Maricic L, Wingenfeld K, Piber D, Ströhle A, Kotsch J, Paul F, Otte C, Gold SM.

Converging evidence indicates that major depressive disorder (MDD) and metabolic disorders might be mediated by shared (patho)biological pathways. However, the converging cellular and molecular signatures remain unknown. Here, we investigated metabolic dysfunction on a systemic, cellular, and molecular level in unmedicated patients with MDD compared with matched healthy controls (HC). Despite comparable BMI scores and absence of cardiometabolic disease, patients with MDD presented with significant dyslipidemia. On a cellular level, T cells obtained from patients with MDD exhibited reduced respiratory and glycolytic capacity. Gene expression analysis revealed increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase IA (CPT1a) levels in T cells, the rate-limiting enzyme for mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid oxidation. Together, our results indicate metabolic dysfunction in unmedicated, non-overweight patients with MDD on a systemic, cellular, and molecular level. This evidence for reduced mitochondrial respiration in T cells of patients with MDD provides translation of previous animal studies regarding a putative role of altered immunometabolism in depression pathobiology.

iScience 2021 Oct 16;24(11):103312.

Link to Pubmed