Elfving, Betina2; Buttenschøn, Henriette Nørmølle2; Foldager, Leslie3; Poulsen, Pia H P4; Grynderup, Matias Brødsgaard11; Hansen, Åse Marie12; Kolstad, Henrik A.6; Kaerlev, Linda7; Mikkelsen, Sigurd8; Børglum, Anders9; Wegener, Gregers2; Mors, Ole10
1 Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Institut for Klinisk Medicin - Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit3 Institut for Jordbrugsproduktion og Miljø, Aarhus Universitet4 Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark.5 Department of Public Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet6 Institut for Klinisk Medicin7 Research Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.8 unknown9 Institut for Bioscience - Arctic Research Centre10 Institut for Klinisk Medicin - Psykiatrien i Region Midtjylland11 Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet12 Department of Public Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Recent studies suggest that the angiogenic cytokine vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in the pathogenesis of depression. However, only a few studies have investigated serum VEGF levels in individuals with depression, or the possible association between genetic variants within the VEGF gene and depression. The purpose of the present study was to investigate differences between serum VEGF levels in individuals with depression vs. control individuals, and associations between genetic markers located within VEGF and depression. In addition, determinants of the serum VEGF levels were identified. One-hundred and fifty-five depressed subjects and 280 controls were included in the study. All individuals returned a questionnaire and participated in a semi-structured diagnostic interview. Eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms were successfully analysed. VEGF levels were measured in serum by immunoassay and independent determinants of the serum VEGF level were assessed by generalized linear models.The main findings were that depression, severity of depression, previous depressive episodes, age and body mass index (BMI) were associated with higher serum VEGF levels. The genetic marker rs10434 was significantly associated with depression after correction for multiple testing, but not with the serum VEGF level. Our final model included depression and BMI as predictors of serum VEGF levels. Our study suggests a role for circulating serum VEGF in depression. Furthermore, our data also demonstrate that other factors than a diagnosis of depression influence the serum VEGF level. The importance of these factors should be emphasized when studies are compared.
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014, Vol 17, Issue 9, p. 1409-1417