Seven (21%) of 34 patients with a severe DSM-III diagnosis of major depression had red-cell folate levels below 150 ng/ml. This subgroup with folate deficiency had significantly lower CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) compared to neurological controls. For all depressed patients red-cell folate was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and homovanillic acid (HVA). CSF tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and HVA and red-cell folate. Our observations provide further evidence of the links between folate, biopterin and monoamine metabolism in depression.