Normal metabolite levels in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of unmedicated major depressive disorder patients: A single voxel 1H spectroscopy study

Fabiano G. Nery, Jeffrey A. Stanley, Hua Hsuan Chen, John P. Hatch, Mark A. Nicoletti, Emel Serap Monkul, Koji Matsuo, Sheila C. Caetano, Marco A. Peluso, Pablo Najt, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H spectroscopy) studies have investigated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a key region in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). We used 1H spectroscopy to verify whether MDD patients differ from healthy controls (HC) in metabolite levels in this brain area. Thirty-seven unmedicated DSM-IV MDD patients were compared with 40 HC. Subjects underwent a short echo-time 1H spectroscopy examination at 1.5 T, with an 8-cm3 single voxel placed in the left DLPFC. Reliable absolute metabolite levels of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), phosphocreatine plus creatine (PCr+Cr), choline-containing compounds (GPC+PC), myo-inositol, glutamate plus glutamine (Glu + Gln), and glutamate were obtained using the unsuppressed water signal as an internal reference. Metabolite levels in the left DLPFC did not statistically differ between MDD patients and HC. We found an interaction between gender and diagnosis on PCr+Cr levels. Male MDD patients presented lower levels of PCr+Cr than male HC, and female MDD patients presented higher levels of PCr+Cr than female HC. Moreover, length of illness was inversely correlated with NAA levels. These findings suggest that there is not an effect of diagnosis on the left DLPFC neurochemistry. Possible effects of gender on PCr+Cr levels of MDD patients need to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume174
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 30 2009

Keywords

  • Choline-containing compounds
  • Glutamate
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Major depressive disorder
  • N-acetyl aspartate
  • Pathophysiology
  • Phosphocreatine/creatine
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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