Altered fibrinolytic system in rat models of depression and patients with first-episode depression

Neurobiol Stress. 2019 Jul 26:11:100188. doi: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2019.100188. eCollection 2019 Nov.


Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a serine protease involved in cleavage of neurotrophic factors. In addition, tPA and neuroserpin can also directly bind to low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1), promoting neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth. Given both the cleavage and non-cleavage actions of the fibrinolytic system are crucial in neurological functions, the present study, for the first time, systematically detected the changes of fibrinolytic system factors in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and patients with depression. In general, our data demonstrated that both CUMS and LPS reduced tPA but elevated plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1; SERPINE1) mRNA expression. Intriguingly, decreased expression of neuroserpin and LRP1 was also observed in rats exposed to CUMS or LPS. The down-regulated neuroserpin and LRP1 signaling were confirmed by western blotting and immunoflurence data. Likewise, elevated PAI-1 but a significant reduction of neuroserpin and LRP1 mRNA expression were observed in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with first-episode depression, and the mRNA levels of PAI-1, neuroserpin and LRP1 were correlated with the Beck Depression inventory (BDI) scores, further strengthening the clinical significance and involvement of the fibrinolytic system in depression. Collectively, the present study demonstrated the alterations of fibrinolytic system in stressed and inflamed brain and in patients with first-episode depression, firstly showing that not only the cleavage actions, but also the non-cleavage actions of the system may play an essential role in the development of depression.

Keywords: Depression; LRP1; Neuroserpin; PAI-1; tPA.