Zhang X, Wang X, Sha W, Zhou H, Zhang Y. Val66Met polymorphism and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration in depressed patients.
Objective: Accumulating evidence has suggested a pathophysiological role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in major depressive disorder (MDD). The present study evaluated serum levels of BDNF and explored whether Val66Met BDNF gene polymorphism is correlated with changes in circulating BDNF levels in patients with MDD and control subjects.
Methods: Subjects were 76 patients with MDD and 50 controls. Diagnosis of MDD was determined by the use of a structured clinical interview according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-IV (DSM-IV) criteria. The concentrations of BDNF were measured by using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The Val66Met BDNF gene polymorphism was examined by the polymerase chain reaction technique.
Results: Serum BDNF was significantly lower in MDD patients than in normal control subjects (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences either in allele or genotype in the Val66Met polymorphism between the MDD and control groups. Moreover, genotype did not significantly correlate with the BDNF serum levels in the MDD or control groups.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that there is a decrease in serum BDNF levels in untreated MDD patients. However, serum BDNF levels were not associated with the Val66Met polymorphism.