Major depressive disorder is associated with pro-inflammatory markers, such as cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1ß, and C-reactive protein. Galectin-3 is a novel emerging biomarker with pro-inflammatory properties. It is a saccharide binding protein distributed throughout many tissues with varying functions and is a predictor of poor outcomes in patients with heart failure and stroke. However, its role as a predictor in depressive symptom severity remains undefined. Data from the community-based Dallas Heart Study (n = 2554) were examined using a multiple linear regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between galectin-3 and depressive symptom severity as assessed with Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-Report (QIDS-SR) scores. Additional covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), years of education, serum creatinine, history of diabetes, and smoking history. Galectin-3 levels statistically significantly predicted QIDS-SR depressive symptom severity (β = 0.055, p = .015). Female sex, smoking status, and BMI were found to be statistically significant positive predictors of depression severity, while age, years of education, non-Hispanic White race, and Hispanic ethnicity were negative predictors of depressive symptom severity. In this large sample, higher galectin-3 levels were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that galectin-3 may be a new and useful inflammatory biomarker associated with depression.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.