Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 155
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825406

Changes in CREB-phosphorylation during recovery from major depression: Findings in patients exclusively treated with psychotherapy (IPT)

JM Koch 1, D Hinze-Selch 1, JB Aldenhoff 1, C Huchzermeier 1
  • 1Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany

The cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB) is an essential element in signal transduction pathways important for cellular resilience, synaptic plasticity and memory storage. Therefore this transcription factor plays a key role in the well recognized concept of altered neuroplasticity in major depression. We have previously demonstrated that the increase in CREB phosphorylation in peripheral blood T-lymphocytes is significantly associated with clinical improvement in patients treated with antidepressants (1). In an ongoing study we now investigate patients exclusively treated with psychotherapy (IPT). Preliminary results from 16 of these patients demonstrate that increase in CREB-phosphorylation is associated with clinical improvement. This suggests that the increase in CREB-phosphorylation is rather an effect of clinical improvement than of medication. It furthermore leads to the assumption that measuring CREB phosphorylation in peripheral blood lymphocytes might be biological parameter to at least follow clinical response regardless of the kind of therapy applied.

Koch et al. Journal of Psychiatric Research 2002, 36:369–375