BACKGROUND: Increased levels of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) have been shown to reduce the hormones in the HPA axis. In this study we addressed the question whether patients with unmedicated major depressive disorder (MDD) might have altered baseline levels of these natriuretic peptides and an altered response to acute exercise. METHODS: An incremental exercise test was performed in 18 patients with MDD and in 18 healthy controls. Plasma concentrations of ANP and BNP were determined at rest, during the exercise test and 30min post exercise using immunoradiometric assays. RESULTS: During the exercise test the concentrations of ANP and BNP increased significantly in both groups. The MDD group showed significantly lower levels of ANP than the controls at rest, at maximal work rate and post exercise and of BNP at rest and at maximal work rate. The dynamic changes of both ANP and BNP, respectively, from baseline to maximal work rate were significantly lower in the MDD group. A slightly lower (non-significant) maximal work rate was observed in the MDD group compared with the controls. LIMITATIONS: Group sizes are relatively limited. CONCLUSION: Lower concentrations of ANP and BNP during rest and exercise were observed in the MDD patients together with a decreased dynamic response to maximal exercise. Hypothetically, the reduced ANP and BNP concentration contributes to the high hormone levels in the HPA system seen in depressive disorders. Of interest for future research is whether physical training might increase the levels of ANP and BNP and thereby diminish depressive symptoms.
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Physiotherapy (Closed 2012) (013042000), Department of Clinical Physiology (Lund) (013013000), Psychiatry (Lund) (013303000)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP)
- Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP)