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Increased cerebrospinal fluid glutamine levels in depressed patients

  • Joseph Levine
    Affiliations
    Neurophysics Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, RJM, JWP)

    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, SG, RJM, JWP)

    Beersheva Mental Health Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva Israel(JL)
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  • Kanagasabai Panchalingam
    Affiliations
    Neurophysics Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, RJM, JWP)

    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, SG, RJM, JWP)
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  • Avraham Rapoport
    Affiliations
    Volfson Hospital, Neurology Department, Holon (AR), Israel
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  • Samuel Gershon
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, SG, RJM, JWP)
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  • Richard J McClure
    Affiliations
    Neurophysics Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, RJM, JWP)

    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, SG, RJM, JWP)
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  • Jay W Pettegrew
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to J.W. Pettegrew, Laboratory of Neurophysics, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Health Services Administration, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, A741 Crabtree Hall, 130 De Soto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Affiliations
    Neurophysics Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, RJM, JWP)

    Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (JL, KP, SG, RJM, JWP)
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      Abstract

      Background: There is increasing evidence for an association between alterations of brain glutamatergic neurotransmission and the pathophysiology of affective disorders.
      Methods: We studied the association between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) metabolites, including glutamine, in unipolar and bipolar depressed patients versus control subjects using a proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique. Cerebrospinal fluid samples were obtained from 18 hospitalized patients with acute unmedicated severe depression without medical problems and compared with those of 22 control subjects.
      Results: Compared with the control group, the depressed patient group had significantly higher CSF glutamine concentrations, which correlated positively with CSF magnesium levels.
      Conclusions: These findings suggest an abnormality of the brain glial–neuronal glutamine/glutamate cycle associated with N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor systems in patients with depression.

      Keywords

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