Anhedonia is a core symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD) and often associated with poor prognosis. The main objective of the present study was to explore the relationship between complement factor H (CFH), inflammatory cytokines and anhedonia in drug-naïve MDD patients.
A total of 215 participants (61 MDD patients with anhedonia, 78 MDD patients without anhedonia, and 76 control subjects) were included. Severity of depression and levels of anhedonia were evaluated by Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17 (HAMD-17) and SHAPS (Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale). Plasma levels of CFH, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured.
The plasma levels of CFH, IL-10 and TNF-α were higher in drug-naïve MDD patients than control subjects. Compared to MDD patients without anhedonia, patients with anhedonia showed higher levels of CFH and IL-6. The stepwise regression analysis revealed that IL-10, TNF-α, as well as IL-10 ×TNF-α were associated with depressive symptoms measured by HAMD-17 in drug-naïve MDD patients, while only CFH levels were identified as a mediator factor for the severity of anhedonia in the patients.
MDD patients with anhedonia showed different inflammatory characteristics compared to the patients without anhedonia. Our results provide novel evidence suggesting that increased plasma CFH levels may be a potential biomarker of anhedonia of subtyping MDD.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.