Oxidative stress markers imbalance in late-life depression

Breno S. Diniz, Ana Paula Mendes-Silva, Lucelia Barroso Silva, Laiss Bertola, Monica Costa Vieira, Jessica Diniz Ferreira, Mariana Nicolau, Giovana Bristot, Eduarda Dias da Rosa, Antonio L. Teixeira, Flavio Kapczinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders in young adults. However, there is few data to support its role in the elderly. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether subjects with late-life depression (LLD) presented with changes in oxidative stress response in comparison with the non-depressed control group. We then explored how oxidative stress markers associated with specific features of LLD, in particular cognitive performance and age of onset of major depressive disorder in these individuals. Methods: We included a convenience sample of 124 individuals, 77 with LLD and 47 non-depressed subjects (Controls). We measure the plasma levels of 6 oxidative stress markers: thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), protein carbonil content (PCC), free 8-isoprostane, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, glutathione reductase (GR) activity, and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity. Results: We found that participants with LLD had significantly higher free 8-isoprostane levels (p = 0.003) and lower glutathione peroxidase activity (p = 0.006) compared to controls. Free 8-isoprostane levels were also significantly correlated with worse scores in the initiation/perseverance (r = −0.24, p = 0.01), conceptualization (r = −0.22, p = 0.02) sub-scores, and the total scores (r = −0.21, p = 0.04) on the DRS. Conclusions: Our study provides robust evidence of the imbalance between oxidative stress damage, in particular lipid peroxidation, and anti-oxidative defenses as a mechanism related to LLD, and cognitive impairment in this population. Interventions aiming to reduce oxidative stress damage can have a potential neuroprotective effect for LLD subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Elderly
  • Late-life depression
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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