Plasma levels of S100B and neurofilament light chain protein in stress-related mental disorders

Sci Rep. 2022 May 18;12(1):8339. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12287-1.

Abstract

The pathophysiological changes underlying stress-related mental disorders remain unclear. However, research suggests that alterations in astrocytes and neurons may be involved. This study examined potential peripheral markers of such alterations, including S100B and neurofilament light chain (NF-L). We compared plasma levels of S100B and NF-L in patients with chronic stress-induced exhaustion disorder (SED), patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), and healthy controls. We also investigated whether levels of S100B and NF-L correlated with levels of astrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs that indicate astrocyte activation or apoptosis) and with symptom severity. Only women had measurable levels of S100B. Women with SED had higher plasma levels of S100B than women with MDD (P < 0.001) and healthy controls (P < 0.001). Self-rated symptoms of cognitive failures were positively correlated with levels of S100B (rs = 0.434, P = 0.005) as were depressive symptoms (rs = 0.319, P < 0.001). Plasma levels of astrocyte-derived EVs were correlated with levels of S100B (rs = 0.464, P < 0.001). Plasma levels of NF-L did not differ between the groups and were not correlated with symptom severity or EV levels. Thus, long-term stress without sufficient recovery and SED may be associated with raised plasma levels of S100B, which may be evidence of pathophysiological changes in astrocytes. The findings also support the hypothesis that plasma levels of S100B are associated with cognitive dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / blood
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism
  • Intermediate Filaments / pathology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit* / blood
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit* / metabolism

Substances

  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100B protein, human