Plasma fatty acid profile in depressive disorder resembles insulin resistance state.

BACKGROUND: Depressive disorder is related to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Insulin resistance (IR), connected with altered fatty acid (FA) composition, namely with decreased proportion of polyunsaturated FA could participate in these associations. The aim of the study was to investigate the composition of FA in plasma cholesterol esters (CE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) as well as indices of insulin resistance and oxidative stress in the patients with depressive disorder.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Parameters of lipid and glucose homeostasis, concentrations of FA in plasma cholesteryl esters (CE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) and conjugated dienes in LDL were investigated in a group of 47 patients (9M/38F) with depression and compared with 47 control persons (16M/31F). Delta-9 desaturase (D9D) and D6D desaturase were estimated as product to precursor fatty acid ratios.

RESULTS: In depressive patients increased concentrations of palmitoleic acid and total monounsaturated FA with decreased proportion of total polyunsaturated FA n-6 (PUFA n-6) (all p<0.05) in CE were found, while in PC increased proportion of saturated FA was observed (p<0.05). Moreover, index of D6D activity was significantly increased in PC and CE (p<0.05). Concomitantly, in depressive patients higher levels of plasma triacylglycerols (p<0.05), conjugated dienes in LDL (p<0.001) and HOMA index of IR (p<0.05) were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Esterified FA composition of depressive patients revealed changes, similar to those, usually observed in insulin resistance. Dysregulation of FA could participate in the pathogenesis of depression and be associated with an increased risk of CVD and DM2.

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