Seasonality and BDNF polymorphism influences depression outcome in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis

World J Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Dec;18(8):604-614. doi: 10.1080/15622975.2016.1212171. Epub 2016 Aug 16.


Objectives: To examine the effect of seasonality and rs6265 genotype on depression outcome and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level with dermatitis patients from onset through remission.

Methods: Atopic dermatitis (AD, 56) and psoriasis (PS, 33) patients and healthy controls (HC, 49) were recruited over the 2014 calendar year. Patients were subdivided by immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitivity (AD only), season and rs6265 genotype. Assessments were performed at onset and week 10 (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [HAM-D], SCORAD/PASI, IgE, BDNF). Patients received standard corticosteroid and antihistamine interventions.

Results: All patients responded to corticosteroid treatment. Seasonally differential outcomes were observed in all groups. HAM-D was elevated at onset and improved over 10 weeks: AD cohort 1 (autumn/winter, AD-1) patients improved and AD cohort 2 (spring/summer, AD-2) patients remained elevated. BDNF levels were elevated in AD and seasonal differential: AD-2 declined at 10 weeks, whereas AD-1 remained high (intrinsic AD) or elevated further (extrinsic AD). PS cohort 2 declined to below control at 10 weeks. AD Val/Val had persistently elevated HAM-D and AD Val/Met were either normal (AD-1) or persistently elevated (AD-2).

Conclusions: Findings presented here suggest a strong influence of seasonality on depression outcome and BDNF expression in AD and PS and likely reflect separate patient populations which differentially respond to environment-based stressors.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; depression; psoriasis; seasonal variation.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / blood*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics*
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Psoriasis* / blood
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis* / immunology
  • Psoriasis* / psychology
  • Seasons*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • BDNF protein, human