Depletion of Omega3 Fatty Acid Levels in Red Blood Cell Membranes of Depressive Patients

University Department of Psychiatry, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 03/1998; 43(5):315-319. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(97)00206-0

ABSTRACT Background: It has been hypothesized that depletion of cell membrane n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly docosahexanoic acid (DHA), may be of etiological importance in depression.Methods: We measured the fatty acid composition of phospholipid in cell membranes from red blood cells (RBC) of 15 depressive patients and 15 healthy control subjects.Results: Depressive patients showed significant depletions of total n3 PUFA and particularly DHA. Incubation of RBC from control subjects with hydrogen peroxide abolished all significant differences between patients and controls.Conclusions: These findings suggest that RBC membranes in depressive patients show evidence of oxidative damage. Possible interpretations, and implications for the etiology and treatment of depression, are discussed.

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