Intermediation of perceived stress between early trauma and plasma M/P ratio levels in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients

J Affect Disord. 2021 Apr 15:285:105-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.02.046. Epub 2021 Feb 22.


Objectives: This study is to find the correlation among BDNF metabolism, early trauma, and current stress status of OCD patients. As well as to study the BDNF metabolism-stress related pathological mechanism in OCD development.

Methods: A total of 140 participants were recruited in this study, including 64 drug-naïve OCD patients (OCDs) and 76 healthy controls (HCs). The clinical data of the subjects were measured using YBOCS, CTQ, and PSS. The plasma mBDNF and proBDNF values were measured by ELISA while the M/P ratio was calculated.

Results: The mBDNF, proBDNF plasma levels, and M/P ratio of unmedicated OCD individuals decreased evidently comparing with HCs. Also, positive associations were found between PSS and CTQ and between CTQ and M/P ratio. The negative correlation included proBDNF and PSS as well as proBDNF and CTQ. Intermediary analysis generated by SPSS has showed that the perceived stress played a complete mediating role between early trauma and plasma M/P ratio levels, and the mediating effect was 0.043 in non-medication OCD patients.

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggested that early trauma experience and stress state work together in regulating BDNF metabolism level in OCD patients. The nucleus accumbens and reward loop are also pivotal in the pathogenesis of OCD.

Keywords: Life stress; Obsessive compulsive disorder; Trauma; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Plasma
  • Stress, Psychological


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations