Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a primary psychiatric illness worldwide; there is a dearth of new mechanistic models for the development of better therapeutic strategies. Although we continue to discover individual biological factors, a major challenge is the identification of integrated, multidimensional traits underlying the complex heterogeneity of depression and treatment outcomes. Here, we set out to ascertain the emergence of the novel mitochondrial mediator of epigenetic function acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) in relation to previously described individual predictors of antidepressant responses to the insulin-sensitizing agent pioglitazone. Herein, we report that i) subjects with MDD and shorter leukocyte telomere length (LTL) show decreased levels of LAC, increased BMI, and a history of specific types of childhood trauma; and that ii) these multidimensional factors spanning mitochondrial metabolism, cellular aging, metabolic function, and childhood trauma provide more detailed signatures to predict longitudinal changes in depression severity in response to pioglitazone than individual factors. The findings of multidimensional signatures involved in the pathophysiology of depression and their role in predicting treatment outcomes provide a starting point for the development of a mechanistic framework linking biological networks and environmental factors to clinical outcomes in pursuit of personalized medicine strategies to effectively treat MDD.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ynstr.2021.100407
View details for PubMedID 34815985
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8592929