Gut microbiome-wide association study of depressive symptoms

Djawad Radjabzadeh, Jos A. Bosch, André G. Uitterlinden, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, M. Arfan Ikram, Joyce B.J. van Meurs, Annemarie I. Luik, Max Nieuwdorp, Anja Lok, Cornelia M. van Duijn, Robert Kraaij*, Najaf Amin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Depression is one of the most poorly understood diseases due to its elusive pathogenesis. There is an urgency to identify molecular and biological mechanisms underlying depression and the gut microbiome is a novel area of interest. Here we investigate the relation of fecal microbiome diversity and composition with depressive symptoms in 1,054 participants from the Rotterdam Study cohort and validate these findings in the Amsterdam HELIUS cohort in 1,539 subjects. We identify association of thirteen microbial taxa, including genera Eggerthella, Subdoligranulum, Coprococcus, Sellimonas, Lachnoclostridium, Hungatella, Ruminococcaceae (UCG002, UCG003 and UCG005), LachnospiraceaeUCG001, Eubacterium ventriosum and Ruminococcusgauvreauiigroup, and family Ruminococcaceae with depressive symptoms. These bacteria are known to be involved in the synthesis of glutamate, butyrate, serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), which are key neurotransmitters for depression. Our study suggests that the gut microbiome composition may play a key role in depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7128
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Rotterdam Study is a population-based cohort study from the well-defined Ommoord district within Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It is designed to investigate occurrence and determinants of diseases in the elderly. The RS cohort is approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Erasmus MC (registration number MEC 02.1015) and by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Population Screening Act WBO, license number 1071272-159521-PG). The Rotterdam Study was entered into the Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR; and into the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP; under shared catalog number NTR6831. We thank all participants and all others, who made this study possible. The HELIUS study is conducted by the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC and the Public Health Service of Amsterdam. Both organisations provided core support for HELIUS. The HELIUS study is also funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation, the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the European Union (FP-7), and the European Fund for the Integration of non-EU immigrants (EIF). We are most grateful to the participants of the HELIUS study and the management team, research nurses, interviewers, research assistants and other staff who have taken part in gathering the data of this study. Grant numbers: - ZonMW Memorabel: 733050814 (C.M.v.D.) - Dutch Heart Foundation: 2010T084 (K.S) - ZonMw: 200500003 (K.S) - European Union (FP-7): 278901 (K.S) - European Fund for the Integration of non-EU immigrants (EIF): 2013EIF013 (K.S) - European Union (H2020) Research Innovation Action (RIA). Grant agreement ID: 848146 (JA Bosch)

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, Crown.


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