A translational approach for NMDA receptor profiling as a vulnerability biomarker for depression and schizophrenia.

Handan Gunduz-Bruce, Joshua Kenney, Suravi Changlani, Aldo Peixoto, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Cheryl Leone, Nina Stachenfeld,


Experimental physiology, March 15, 2017


Altered N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity and glutamate signaling may underlie the pathogenesis of both schizophrenia and depression in subgroups of patients. In schizophrenia, pharmacologic modeling, postmortem and imaging data suggest reduced NMDA signaling. In contrast, recent clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of the NMDA antagonist ketamine in severely depressed patients suggest increased NMDA receptor signaling. We conducted a proof of concept study to assess whether there is any in vivo evidence for an inverse association in depression and schizophrenia with respect to the NMDA receptor function. For this purpose we used a translational approach, based on findings from animal studies that NMDA receptor is a key mediator of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) release into the bloodstream. Using hypertonic saline to induce AVP release, as done in animal studies, we found that in depressed patients, NMDA receptor mediated AVP release induced by hypertonic saline infusion was significantly increased 0.24 (0.15) pg/ml P[AVP] /mOsmol POsm , P< 0.05 compared to schizophrenia patients 0.07 (0.07) pg/ml P[AVP] /mOsmol POsm , in whom same response was abnormally low. Slopes for healthy control were 0.11 (0.09) pg/ml P[AVP] /mOsmol POsm , and not different than either group. These findings are consistent with implicated NMDA receptor related abnormalities in depression and schizophrenia in subgroups of patients, and provide the first in vivo evidence towards this dichotomy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Pubmed Link: 28294453

DOI: 10.1113/EP086212