Exploring the sortilin related receptor, SorLA, in depression

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BACKGROUND: Studies of individual biomarkers for depression have shown insufficient sensitivity and specificity for clinical use, and most likely combinations of biomarkers may provide a better signature. The sorting-related receptor with A-type repeats (SorLA) is a well-studied pathogenic factor for Alzheimer's. SorLA belongs to the Vps10p domain receptor family, which also encompasses sortilin and SorCS1-3. All family members have been implicated in neurological and mental disorders. Notably, the SORCS3 gene is genome-wide significantly associated with depression and serum protein levels of sortilin are reduced in depressed individuals. SorLA regulates the activity of neurotrophic factors and cytokines and we hence speculated that SorLA might be implicated in depression.

METHODS: Serum SorLA levels were measured in two well-defined clinical samples using ELISA. Generalized linear models were used in the statistical analyses.

RESULTS: We identified a multivariate model to discriminate depressed individuals from healthy controls. Interestingly, the model consisted of serum SorLA levels and additional four predictors: previous depressive episode, stressful life events, serum levels of sortilin and VEGF. However, as an isolated factor, we observed no significant difference in SorLA levels between 140 depressed individuals and 140 healthy controls. Nevertheless, we observed a significant increase in SorLA levels following 12 weeks of treatment with nortriptyline, but not escitalopram.

LIMITATIONS: The number of biomarkers included in the multivariate model for depression and lack of replication limit our study.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest SorLA as one of five factors that in combination may support the depression diagnosis, but not as an individual biomarker for depression or treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Pages (from-to)260-267
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

    Research areas

  • Biomarker, Depression, Neurotrophic factor, SorLA, Sortilin, VSP10 domain receptors

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