Background: Since a genetic disposition for depression is probable, there ought to be biochemical changes. Increased peptide levels with relevant bioactivities have been found in urine in a previous investigation, which may be such changes.
Methods: Urine from patients with severe depression according to ICD 10 have been run on reversed phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography, and off line mass spectrometry was performed on some of these peptides.
Results: We find overlapping patterns of peptide peaks in severe depression, but with considerable individuality. Mass spectrometry shows that some of these peptides are probably of dietary origin, because their sequences are found only in certain dietary proteins. Opioids from casein and gliadin are typical examples.
Conclusion: Our data show that the disposition must be polygenetic because some peptide peaks with the same bioactivity are of different length in different patients, but with the same diagnosis. However, some of the peaks are common Peptide increase in urine is found when break down is deficient, and the data presented agree with reports on peptidase deficiencies in depression. Antidepressant drugs decrease the peptide level after about 3 weeks.