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Papers of the Week

2020 Jan

Metab Brain Dis



Serum agrin and talin are increased in major depression while agrin and creatine phosphokinase are associated with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms in depression.


Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms frequently occur in major depressive disorder (MDD). The pathophysiology of these symptoms may in part, be ascribed to activated immune pathways, although it is unclear whether muscular factors play a role in their onset. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of muscle proteins in major depression in association with symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. We measured serum levels of agrin, talin-2, titin, and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) as well as the FibroFatigue (FF), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) scores in 60 MDD patients and 30 healthy controls. The results show a significant increase in agrin and talin-2 in MDD patients as compared with controls. There were highly significant correlations between agrin and HAM-D, BDI-II and FF scores. Agrin, but not talin or titin, was significantly and positively associated with all 12 items of the FF scale. We found that a large part of the variance in HAM-D (47.4%), BDI-II (43.4%) and FF (43.5%) scores was explained by the regression on agrin, smoking, female sex (positively associated) and education (inversely associated). CPK was significantly and inversely associated with the total FF score and with muscle and gastro-intestinal symptoms, fatigue, a flu-like malaise, headache and memory, autonomic and sleep disturbances. These results suggest that aberrations in neuromuscular (NMJs) and myotendinous junctions play a role in MDD and that the aberrations in NMJs coupled with lowered CPK may play a role in chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms in MDD. Moreover, the increase of agrin in MDD probably functions as part of the compensatory immune-regulatory system (CIRS).