Background: The differential diagnosis of patients presenting for the first time with a depressive episode into unipolar disorder versus bipolar disorder is crucial to establish the correct pharmacological therapy (antidepressants vs mood stabilizers), but no biological markers are currently available. Several lines of evidence indicate an involvement of Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK3) in the pathophysiology of depression. However, previous reports about GSK3 in peripheral blood were incomplete or inconsistent, so a specific marker is not yet available. The aim was to search for consistent differences in GSK3α and GSK3β or of their phosphorylated forms in samples of peripheral blood from patients with unipolar and bipolar depression. Methods: Mononucleate peripheral blood cells (PBMCs) of samples from patients presenting with a depressive episode were analyzed with the western blot technique. Results: The total amount of GSK3β in PBMCs was significantly lower in patients with bipolar disorder than in patients with unipolar depression. The sensitivity based on GSK3β was 85%. GSK3α was not significantly different but allowed a correct detection of 57% of BD patients. The combination in series of GSK3β and GSK3α yields a sensitivity of about 100%, but with 26.7% false negatives. Conclusions: Our results suggest that PBMC GSK3β could be a candidate biomarker for the differential diagnosis of bipolar disorder versus unipolar depression. This finding may help in implementing the still limited panel of peripheral biomarkers for differential diagnosis between unipolar and bipolar disorder in patients presenting with a depressive episode.

Differential diagnosis of unipolar versus bipolar depression by GSK3 levels in peripheral blood: a pilot experimental study

Rosso, Gianluca
First
;
Maina, Giuseppe;Teobaldi, Elena;Balbo, Ilaria;Di Salvo, Gabriele;Montarolo, Francesca;Rizzo Pesci, Nicola;Tempia, Filippo;Hoxha, Eriola
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: The differential diagnosis of patients presenting for the first time with a depressive episode into unipolar disorder versus bipolar disorder is crucial to establish the correct pharmacological therapy (antidepressants vs mood stabilizers), but no biological markers are currently available. Several lines of evidence indicate an involvement of Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK3) in the pathophysiology of depression. However, previous reports about GSK3 in peripheral blood were incomplete or inconsistent, so a specific marker is not yet available. The aim was to search for consistent differences in GSK3α and GSK3β or of their phosphorylated forms in samples of peripheral blood from patients with unipolar and bipolar depression. Methods: Mononucleate peripheral blood cells (PBMCs) of samples from patients presenting with a depressive episode were analyzed with the western blot technique. Results: The total amount of GSK3β in PBMCs was significantly lower in patients with bipolar disorder than in patients with unipolar depression. The sensitivity based on GSK3β was 85%. GSK3α was not significantly different but allowed a correct detection of 57% of BD patients. The combination in series of GSK3β and GSK3α yields a sensitivity of about 100%, but with 26.7% false negatives. Conclusions: Our results suggest that PBMC GSK3β could be a candidate biomarker for the differential diagnosis of bipolar disorder versus unipolar depression. This finding may help in implementing the still limited panel of peripheral biomarkers for differential diagnosis between unipolar and bipolar disorder in patients presenting with a depressive episode.
2023
11
1
1
9
Biomarker; Bipolar disorders; Depression; Differential diagnosis; GSK3; Major depressive disorder
Rosso, Gianluca; Maina, Giuseppe; Teobaldi, Elena; Balbo, Ilaria; Di Salvo, Gabriele; Montarolo, Francesca; Rizzo Pesci, Nicola; Tempia, Filippo; Hoxh...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1938470
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