Cerebrospinal fluid gamma-aminobutyric acid and homovanillic acid in depressive disorders

Biol Psychiatry. 1982 Aug;17(8):877-83.


gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels were determined in the lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of hospitalized patients suffering from depression and in a control group. Both mean CSF GABA and HVA levels in the patients with depression were significantly lower than those of the control group (p less than 0.05, p less than 0.01, respectively). No positive correlation was found between the changes in CSF GABA and HVA levels in the patients with depression. The Hamilton Rating score in these depressed patients, age, and sex showed no correlation to CSF GABA levels. It is suggested that decreased activity in the central GABAergic and dopaminergic system may be involved in the pathogenesis of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Bipolar Disorder / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Depressive Disorder / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Female
  • Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenylacetates / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Sex Factors
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Phenylacetates
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Homovanillic Acid