Study on Inflammatory Link between Stress and Major Depressive Disorder: An Approach through the Biochemical Lens

Background: Various research have supported the link between depression and inflammation, with chronic stress leading to HPA axis activation and cortisol secretion being hypothesised to explain depression pathophysiology.

The goal of this study was to determine and compare the levels of cortisol, ferritin, and hsCRP in the serum of patients with Major Depressive Disorder and healthy controls.

Methods: In this study, the effect of cortisol and inflammation in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) was investigated in 150 patients with MDD and 150 age and sex matched control volunteers. The Enzyme Immuno Assay method was used to measure serum cortisol as well as two well-known acute phase reactant proteins, hsCRP and Ferritin, in all study participants.

Cortisol and hsCRP levels in the blood were found to be considerably greater in all MDD patients, although ferritin levels were significantly lower. There was no discernible variation in the characteristics across the various degrees of MDD. The ROC curve was utilised to determine whether these three measures may be used as biomarkers. Only the level of Ferritin indicated a significant difference when the parameters were compared by gender.

Conclusion: The large change in biochemical parameters that is not linked to grade-level changes shows that inflammation is most likely the first event that leads to depression. As a result, there is no gradual shift as the condition becomes more severe. hsCRP appears to be the biomarker that can be employed in MDD cases, based on the area under the curve in both female and male patients.

Author (S) Details

Soma Gupta
Department of Biochemistry, N.R.S. Medical College, 138, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Rd., Sealdah, Kolkata, West Bengal 700014, India.

Harendranath Das
(Retd.)Department of Biochemistry, R.G. Kar Medical College, 1, Khudiram Bose Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700004, India.

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