Elevated plasma N-terminal ProBNP levels in unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder

Neurosci Lett. 2007 May 7;417(3):322-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.02.056. Epub 2007 Feb 24.


There is considerable evidence that cardiovascular diseases are more prevalent in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Secretion of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) increases in several cardiac illnesses, making this neurohormone a reliable diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of cardiovascular risk. We measured plasma NT-proBNP levels in the following three groups of subjects free of overt cardiovascular disease: unmedicated patients with MDD (n=40), unmedicated patients with schizophrenia (n=44), and normal control subjects (n=42). The severity of depressive symptoms was rated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). Plasma NT-proBNP levels were assayed by ELISA. Plasma NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in the MDD group (median: 217.1 pmol/L; interquartile range: 179.4-277.1 pmol/L) than in patients with schizophrenia (175.7 pmol/L [139.0-218.9]; P<0.05) or in the control group (158.9 pmol/L [98.3-212.1]; P<0.001). Among patients with MDD, there was a significant positive correlation (Spearman's rank correlation=0.422, P=0.008) between plasma NT-proBNP and HAMD scores. Altogether, our results indicate that elevated NT-proBNP levels may play a role in linking MDD with increased cardiovascular risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / blood
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Up-Regulation / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain