Elevated levels of glutathionyl haemoglobin as an oxidative stress marker in patients with major depressive disorder

Authors : Mathew B, Srinivasan K, Johnson P, Thomas T, Mandal AK

Publication Year : 2019

Abstract :

Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD), but biomarkers to assess oxidative stress in patients with MDD have yielded ambiguous results. Glutathionyl haemoglobin (GS-Hb) has been reported as a stable and potential biomarker for oxidative stress in various clinical conditions. The objective of the study was to evaluate GS-Hb as a potential biomarker of oxidative stress in patients with MDD through its quantification and to compare the levels of GS-Hb in age- and gender-matched healthy controls.

The levels of GS-Hb were estimated using liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in patients diagnosed with MDD and in a subset of patients after six weeks of treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

GS-Hb levels in drug-naïve patients with MDD (n=26) were significantly elevated compared to matched healthy controls (n=17). GS-Hb levels were not significantly different between MDD patients with and without co-morbid anxiety disorders. There were no significant differences in GS-Hb levels following six weeks of treatment with SSRIs compared to baseline.

Compared to controls, GS-Hb level in patients with MDD was significantly elevated, suggestive of increased oxidative stress associated with MDD. However, six weeks of antidepressant treatment was not sufficient to modify the alterations in antioxidant/oxidant system. Further studies need to be done with a large sample of MDD patients with a longer duration of antidepressant treatment.