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Depression Linked to Gut Microbe, Blood Metabolite Features

In JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from the University of Oxford and elsewhere present findings from a gut microbiome- and blood metabolomics-based analysis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Based on blood metabolomic profiles for hundreds of thousands of individuals with or without MDD from the UK Biobank project, PREDICT, and BBMRI-NL efforts, the team flagged MDD-associated signatures spanning some 124 new or know metabolites. Along with analyses aimed at finding ties between the observed metabolic patterns and human gut microbiome features, the authors incorporated genome-wide association study summary statistics for nearly 59,900 more MDD cases and more than 113,100 unaffected controls for Mendelian randomization analyses to link certain lipoproteins and fatty acids to MDD disease development. "The study findings showed that energy metabolism was disturbed in individuals with MDD," the authors report, "and that the interplay of the gut microbiome and blood metabolome may play a role in lipid metabolism in individuals with MDD."