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Altered neuroaxonal integrity in schizophrenia and major depressive disorder assessed with neurofilament light chain in serum


Bavato, Francesco; Cathomas, Flurin; Klaus, Federica; Gütter, Karoline; Barro, Christian; Maceski, Aleksandra; Seifritz, Erich; Kuhle, Jens; Kaiser, Stefan; Quednow, Boris B (2021). Altered neuroaxonal integrity in schizophrenia and major depressive disorder assessed with neurofilament light chain in serum. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 140:141-148.

Abstract

Background

Schizophrenia (SZ) and major depressive disorders (MDD) have been frequently linked to anatomical brain alterations. However, the relationship between brain pathology, inflammation and clinical symptoms in these disorders is still unclear. Thus, by applying novel blood markers of neuroaxonal integrity such as neurofilament light chain (NfL), we can now address main issues in psychiatric research and potentially offer innovative diagnostic tools toward better clinical characterizations and monitoring in both SZ and MDD.
Methods

NfL levels were measured in serum of 44 patients with SZ and in 41 patients with MDD applying single molecule array technology and compared to a healthy norm population. Main inflammatory markers (C- reactive protein, interleukins IL-6 and IL-10) were measured to define patients with inflammatory phenotype. The Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST) and the Letter-Number-Sequencing Task were performed to estimate cognitive function in both groups.
Results

NfL levels in MDD group (but not in SZ group) were significantly higher than reference values of healthy norm population. A higher than expected proportion of patients with NfL levels above age-specific cut-off values was observed in both SZ and MDD groups. No correlation was observed between NfL and inflammatory markers. A negative correlation between DSST and NfL-values was observed in patients with MDD.
Conclusions

Both SZ and MDD showed elevated serum levels of NfL, which were independent from inflammatory markers but associated with cognitive performance.

Abstract

Background

Schizophrenia (SZ) and major depressive disorders (MDD) have been frequently linked to anatomical brain alterations. However, the relationship between brain pathology, inflammation and clinical symptoms in these disorders is still unclear. Thus, by applying novel blood markers of neuroaxonal integrity such as neurofilament light chain (NfL), we can now address main issues in psychiatric research and potentially offer innovative diagnostic tools toward better clinical characterizations and monitoring in both SZ and MDD.
Methods

NfL levels were measured in serum of 44 patients with SZ and in 41 patients with MDD applying single molecule array technology and compared to a healthy norm population. Main inflammatory markers (C- reactive protein, interleukins IL-6 and IL-10) were measured to define patients with inflammatory phenotype. The Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST) and the Letter-Number-Sequencing Task were performed to estimate cognitive function in both groups.
Results

NfL levels in MDD group (but not in SZ group) were significantly higher than reference values of healthy norm population. A higher than expected proportion of patients with NfL levels above age-specific cut-off values was observed in both SZ and MDD groups. No correlation was observed between NfL and inflammatory markers. A negative correlation between DSST and NfL-values was observed in patients with MDD.
Conclusions

Both SZ and MDD showed elevated serum levels of NfL, which were independent from inflammatory markers but associated with cognitive performance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 August 2021
Deposited On:27 Aug 2021 14:15
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3956
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.05.072
PubMed ID:34116440
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP2ZHP3_181506
  • : Project TitlePathomechanisms of Schizophrenia - Accelerated Aging and Inflammation in the Periphery and Brain
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP400PM_191077
  • : Project TitleExploring the role of gut-microbiota in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP2ZHP3_181506
  • : Project TitlePathomechanisms of Schizophrenia - Accelerated Aging and Inflammation in the Periphery and Brain
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP400PM_191077
  • : Project TitleExploring the role of gut-microbiota in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
  • Content: Accepted Version