Blood biomarkers of depression track clinical changes during cognitive-behavioral therapy

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Background Results from convergent genomics indicated new peripheral biomarkers for mood states. We sought to investigate the clinical utility of the BioM-10 Mood Panel, a peripheral biomarker set of low vs. high mood states, in the diagnosis of major depressive episode and to monitor the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Method 44 patients with a first episode of major depression and 30 healthy control subjects participated in the study. The BioM-10 panel's gene expression profile was measured from whole peripheral blood with the Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Gene Chips, focusing on 10 top genes related to high mood states (MBP, EDG2, FZD3, ATXN1, and EDNRB) and low mood states (FGFR1, MAG, PMP22, UGT8, and ERBB3). We studied gene expression before and after CBT. Results The BioM-10 prediction score discriminated patients and controls with high sensitivity (84%) and specificity (90%). There was an increase in the BioM-10 prediction score after CBT relative to the pretreatment value. Clinical improvement was associated with higher prediction scores reflecting a greater ratio of high mood markers relative to low mood markers. Limitations Sample size was small for a genome-wide microarray study. Convergent genomic studies have not been conducted in major depressive disorder. More evidence is needed from patients with severe, recurrent, and chronic forms of depression. Conclusions The BioM-10 panel is a promising tool as a biomarker setup for the evaluation of low and high mood states across diagnostic categories. The panel includes genes related to growth factor pathways and myelination, which may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of mood dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Publication statusPublished - aug. 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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