Sex differences in zonulin in affective disorders and associations with current mood symptoms
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Introduction: The bidirectional connection between the brain and the gut within psychiatric entities has gained increasing scientific attention over the last years. As a regulator of intestinal permeability, zonulin acts as a key player on the interface of this interplay. Like several psychiatric disorders, intestinal permeability was associated with inflammation in previous findings. Methods: In this study we explored differences in zonulin serum levels in currently depressed (n = 55) versus currently euthymic (n = 37) individuals with an affective disorder. Further, we explored sex differences and possible influences on zonulin and affective symptoms like medication, age, body mass index, and smoking status. Results: Serum zonulin was significantly higher in females than in men independent from affective status (z = -2.412, p = .016). More specifically, females in the euthymic subgroup had higher zonulin levels than euthymic men (z = -2.114, p = .035). There was no difference in zonulin serum levels in individuals taking or not taking a specific psychopharmacotherapy. We found no correlation between zonulin serum levels and depression severity. Discussion: Increased serum zonulin levels as a proxy for increased intestinal permeability in women may indicate a state of elevated susceptibility for depression-inducing stimuli.
Maget , A , Dalkner , N , Hamm , C , Bengesser , S A , Fellendorf , F T , Platzer , M , Queissner , R , Birner , A , Lenger , M , Mörkl , S , Kohlhammer-Dohr , A , Rieger , A , Seidl , M , Mendel , L , Färber , T , Wetzlmair , L , Schwalsberger , K , Amberger-Otti , D V , Schöggl , H , Lahousen , T , Leitner-Afschar , B , Unterweger , R , Zelzer , S , Mangge , H & Reininghaus , E Z 2021 , ' Sex differences in zonulin in affective disorders and associations with current mood symptoms ' , Journal of Affective Disorders , vol. 294 , pp. 441-446 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.021
Journal of Affective Disorders
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
DescriptionZonulin measurement was funded by Institut Allergosan (Graz, Austria).
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