Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 332
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825575

Different protein expression levels after antidepressant treatment on EBV cells of depressed patients

P Zill 1, TC Baghai 1, S de Jonge 1, K Neumeier 1, M Ackenheil 1, HJ Möller 1, B Bondy 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany

The molecular loci of antidepressant drug action have not yet been fully established, but it is known that antidepressants modulate gene and protein expression.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of mirtazapine on the protein expression levels on EBV cells of depressed patients using antibody microarrays with 380 antibodies (protein chips). The cells were incubated for 48 hours and compared with an untreated sample of the same cell line.

First results show clear differences in the protein expression. 75 proteins (36%) were down regulated and 11 proteins (40%) were up regulated. Interestingly 36% of the down regulated and 40% of the up regulated proteins are involved in signal transduction and neuronal plasticity processes.

Our data suggest that mirtazapine treatment modulate to a great extent the expression of proteins involved in signal transduction and neuronal plasticity. These results have to be validated in further studies.

This project is supported by the German Federal Research Ministry within the promotional emphasis „Competence Nets in Medicine“