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The Association of Biochemical and Genetic Biomarkers in VEGF Pathway with Depression

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Published: 9 December 2022
 by  MDPI

Abstract: VEGF is an important neurotrophic and vascular factor involved in mental disorders. The objective of this study was to verify the effect of genetic polymorphisms in the VEGF pathway on the risk for depression, symptom intensity, and suicide attempts. To examine the association between the VEGF pathway and depression, we genotyped polymorphisms and measured the plasma concentrations of VEGF, KDR, and FLT1 proteins. The participants were 160 patients with depression and 114 healthy controls. The questionnaires that assessed the clinical profile of the patients were the MINI-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, GRID-HAMD21, CTQ, BSI, and the number of suicide attempts. Genotyping of participants was performed using the real-time PCR and protein measurements were performed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). VEGF and its inhibitors were reduced in depression. Individuals with depression and displaying the homozygous AA of the rs699947 polymorphism had higher plasma concentrations of VEGF (p-value = 0.006) and were associated with a greater number of suicide attempts (p-value = 0.041). Individuals with depression that were homozygous for the G allele of the FLT1 polymorphism rs7993418 were associated with lower symptom severity (p-value = 0.040). Our results suggest that VEGF pathway polymorphisms are associated with the number of suicide attempts and the severity of depressive symptoms.
Keywords: depression / VEGF / KDR / s-FLT / suicidal behavior / polymorphism

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