High cEPC counts tied to worse anxiety, depression in MDD patients

28 Sep 2021
High cEPC counts tied to worse anxiety, depression in MDD patients

Elevated counts of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (cEPCs) are correlated to worse anxiety, more severe depressive symptoms, poorer cognitive performance, greater social disability, and impaired overall mental health in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), a recent study has found.

Fifty MDD patients (median age 26 years, 33 women) and 46 healthy controls (median age 28 years, 29 women) participated in the study. A clinical battery including the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), Perceived Deficits Questionnaire-Depression (PDQ-D), and Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), among others, was used to assess patients. Immature and mature cEPC counts were measured using flow cytometry.

Linear regression analysis found significant associations between cEPC counts and depression and other clinical parameters assessed. For instance, univariate analysis found that immature cEPC count was correlated with HAMD (p=0.012), HAMA (p=0.015), the mental component of SF-12 (p=0.006), PDQ-D (p=0.015), and systolic blood pressure (SBP; p=0.001). Similar patterns of association were found for mature cEPCs.

Upon multivariate analysis, however, most of these interactions were attenuated, leaving only SBP (immature cEPC: β, 0.55, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.24–0.86; p=0.001; mature cEPC: β, 0.77, 95 percent CI, 0.37–1.17; p<0.001) and HAMA (immature: β, 1.35, 95 percent CI, 0.39–2.31; p=0.007; mature: β, 1.35, 95 percent CI, 0.12–2.57; p=0.033).

Notably, even when SBP was entered as a covariate in multivariate stepwise linear regression, HAMA remained significantly correlated with both immature and mature cEPC counts.

“Our study is, to the best of our knowledge, the most comprehensive one investigating the relationship between MDD and cEPC counts from different clinical perspectives because we assessed not only subjective and objective mood severity but also cognitive dysfunction and functional disability for association with cEPCs. Subsequent study should be conducted to confirm these observed associations,” the researchers said.

Editor's Recommendations
Related Diseases