Indirect evidence of selective glial involvement in glutamate-based mechanisms of mood regulation in depression: Meta-analysis of absolute prefrontal neuro-metabolic concentrations

Danilo Arnone, Abdul Nashirudeen Mumuni, Sameer Jauhar, Barrie Condon, Jonathan Cavanagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) measures glutamatergic metabolites namely glutamate and glutamine located in neurons and astrocytes respectively. In this meta-analysis the contribution of glutamatergic neurotransmission to depressive symptoms was evaluated together with other putative prefrontal metabolites described in the pathogenesis of mood disorders, and in relation to treatment effects. A comprehensive literature search up to 2014 identified 17 reports which measured absolute concentrations of neurometabolites in the prefrontal cortex with 1H MRS meeting criteria for inclusion in this meta-analysis. Excess of heterogeneity was investigated with meta-regressions. The analyses showed an exclusive reduction in absolute values of the composite measure of Glutamine and Glutamate (Glx) in the prefrontal cortex in depression, correlating in meta-regression analyses with treatment severity. Glutamate measurements in isolation did not differ vs. healthy controls or in relation to treatment and/or clinical improvement. Similarly there were no significant changes in other neurometabolites at baseline and following treatment. The analysis supports a role for glutamatergic dysfunction in the pathogeneses of mood dysregulation. The reduction in the absolute Glx values in the absence of changes in glutamate levels, suggests a possible modulatory role of astrocytes in the pathophysiology of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1117
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affective disorders
  • Depression
  • Glutamate
  • MRS
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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