Author(s): Ventriglia M, Zanardini R, Pedrini L, Placentino A, Nielsen MG,
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Abstract Recent evidence indicates that the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) may be involved in the neuronal mechanisms underlying both the depression aetiology and the response to pharmacological and non pharmacological antidepressant treatments. To investigate whether VEGF peripheral levels are altered in depression and are modulated by antidepressant therapies, we analyzed the serum VEGF concentrations in 25 subjects affected by major depression (MD) before (T0) and after 8 (T8) and 12 (T12) weeks of escitalopram treatment. No significant alterations in VEGF serum levels were found at T0, even considering possible effects of confounders such as gender and smoking habit (r2=0.227 p=0.74). No changes appeared during the treatment (F(1.83, 43.86)=0.962; p=0.383) and there was no correlation between percentage VEGF variations at T12 and symptoms improvements (p=0.823). The present work represents the first report on the evaluation of serum VEGF levels in MD patients. However, before discarding serum VEGF as a biochemical marker in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, our negative results need to be confirmed in larger patient samples stratified for clinical characteristics, co-morbidities, cardiovascular diseases and confounding factors.
This article was published in Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety