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Increased Serum Tropomyosin-related Kinase B Protein Level in Obese Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Chin-Chuen Lin, Tiao-Lai Huang

Objectives: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tropomyosin-
related kinase B (TrkB) protein have been previously associated with
mood disorders. Here, we aimed to investigate the roles of BDNF and TrkB in suicidality
and obesity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods:
The serum protein levels of BDNF and TrkB were determined in 60 MDD in- and
outpatients. We classifi ed men and women with a body mass index (BMI) of ≧
26.4 kg/m2 as obese. We examined the differences in serum BDNF and TrkB protein
levels between obese/non-obese and suicidal/non-suicidal MDD patients. Results:
We found no significant difference in serum BDNF protein levels between
obese and non-obese MDD patients or between MDD patients with or without suicide
history. The TrkB protein levels were found to be signifi cantly increased in
obese MDD patients compared with those in non-obese MDD patients (F = 4.137,
p = 0.047), but no signifi cant difference was found in the TrkB protein levels between
MDD patients with and without suicide history. Conclusion: We found in
this study that obesity in our study MDD patients was associated with increased
serum TrkB levels. Increased TrkB levels may play a role in the pathophysiology
of obese MDD patients.
Key Word Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, major depressive disorder, obesity, tropomyosin-related kinase B
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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