The one-carbon-cycle and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism in recurrent major depressive disorder; influence of antidepressant use and depressive state?

A Lok, RJT Mocking, J Assies, MW Koeter, CL Bockting, GJ Vries, I Visser, EM Derks, Manfred Kayser, AH Schene

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Abstract

Background: An important biological factor suggested in the pathophysiology of (recurrent) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) concerns a polymorphism in a gene encoding for the MTHFR-enzyme of the one carbon (1-C) Integratively investigating key 1-C-components (folate, homocysteine, vitamin B6 and B12), including the possible effects of antidepressant medication and depressive state, could provide more insight in the possible association between the MTHFR-polymorphism and recurrent MDD. Methods: We compared the MINER C677T-polymorphism together with the key 1-C-components in clinically ascertained patients with recurrent MDD (t=137) to age- and gender matched healthy controls (n=73). Results: First, patients had lower rotate (t=2.25; p=.025) as compared to controls; a difference that resolved after correction for demographics (t=1.22; p=.223). Second, patients that were depressed during sampling had lower vitamin B6 (t=2.070; p=.038) and higher homocysteine (t=2.404; p=.016) compared to those in remission. Finally, current use of antidepressants had no influence on the 1-C-components. Conclusions: Despite investigation of a specific recurrently depressed patient population, we found no clear associations with the 1-C-cycle, except for higher homocysteine and lower vitamin B6 during the depressed state. This suggests that 1-C-cycle alterations in MDD are state-associated, possibly resulting from high levels of acute (psychological) stress, and may provide a treatment target to reduce cardiovascular risk in this population. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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