Reduced serum levels of adiponectin in elderly patients with major depression

Breno S. Diniz, Antonio L. Teixeira, Alline C. Campos, Aline S. Miranda, Natalia P. Rocha, Leda L. Talib, Wagner F. Gattaz, Orestes V. Forlenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Recent studies have implicated adiponectin and other adipocytokines in brain function, particularly in processes related to memory and cognition. Blood levels of adiponectin are reduced in patients with primary cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment, and in adult patients with major depression. The aim of the present study is to determine serum levels of adiponectin in a sample of elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) as compared to healthy older adults, and to examine the correlations between adiponectin levels and parameters indicative of mood and cognitive state. We recruited fifty-one unmedicated outpatients with late-life depression (LLD) and 47 age-matched controls in this study. The diagnosis of MDD was made according to the DSM-IV criteria, and the severity of depressive episode was determined with the 21-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HDRS). Cognitive state was ascertained with the Cambridge Cognitive Test (CAMCOG) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Serum concentrations of adiponectin were determined using a sandwich ELISA method. Serum levels of adiponectin were significantly reduced in individuals with LLD (F = p < 0.001). Adiponectin level remained significantly reduced in after controlling for BMI index, scores on the CAMCOG, MMSE and HDRS and educational level (p < 0.001). Adiponectin levels showed a negative correlation with HDRS scores (r = -0.59, p < 0.001) and BMI index (r = -0.42, p < 0.001); and showed a positive correlation with CAMCOG (r = 0.34, p < 0.01) and MMSE scores (r = 0.20, p = 0.05). The availability of circulating adiponectin is reduced in older adults with major depression, with likely implications on cognitive and mood state. Additional studies are required to determine whether this abnormality pertains to the pathophysiology of geriatric depression per se, or is a consequence of the morbid state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1085
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarker
  • Cognition
  • Elderly
  • Late-life depression
  • Physiopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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